We would like to sincerely thank Google.org for providing Switchboard with a grant of $250,000 to connect all doctors and nurses in Tanzania on a free mobile phone network.
Tanzania has one of the lowest health worker-to-patient ratios in the world, so there is a tremendous need to improve the communication and collaboration of health care professionals in the country.
In Tanzania, Switchboard will help create a network of 1,336 doctors and 13,000 nurses, so that any of these health professionals can communicate with one another, free of charge, using their mobile phones. Building off our experience connecting doctors on such a network in both Ghana and Liberia, this will be the first opportunity for Switchboard to expand the network to nurses — critical players in getting care to more patients, and further into remote areas.
Switchboard will also create and distribute a physical health worker directory to each person in the network, so that doctors and nurses can expand their social networks and consult with new colleagues
Finally, Switchboard will be able to lay the foundation for our Ensemble two-way bulk SMS platform, allowing the government to send critical information straight to health workers’ mobile phones and collect data in real-time.
We want to truly thank Google.org for their generosity, and support for the work of health professionals and the care of patients in Tanzania.