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30th June 2020

Better health starts with better data.

In the current pandemic, community level data has been highlighted as crucial for understanding how we can fight back against COVID-19. The Lake Tanganyika Floating Health Clinic (LTFHC), a Collective Fund under the auspices of Prism the Gift Fund, has long known the importance of this data and how vital it is to be able to communicate what is happening on the ground to the regional and state level.

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The LTFHC works in the Democratic Republic of Congo, an incredibly important country in terms of global disease surveillance due to its very significant disease burden, its large population (nearly 100 million), environment-human interfaces, and its nine porous international borders. The DRC drives oworld-wide mortality rates for a wide range of diseases including malaria1, measles2, and Ebola3 (another zoonotic disease, as we suspect SARS-COV-2 is). Because of the challenges of acquiring accurate and timely community-level public health data, the LTFHC has been working to digitalize the country’s paper medical records system to enable the flow of these health data for the first time.

Through the organization’s decade of experience working in the country, they have been able to build relationships with both local communities in Tanganyika Province and the Ministry of Health. These relationships are essential to the success of adopting technological innovations. Iroko Health (LTFHC’s app) has already enhanced the care of over 14,000 women in seven health centres in Tanganyika Province. By digitalizing data and reporting on patient-based care in hospitals and health centres, as well as specific programs (for HIV, TB, malaria, NTDs, and maternal health – to name a few), Iroko Health is making an enormous amount of community-level public health information visible and actionable.

The next stage for the LTFHC involves expanding the app to cover the administrative portion of DRC’s paper system, which is crucial for the well-functioning of health centers as they deal with inventory management, supply chain, and human resources issues – the business processes that support service delivery. Iroko Health is a frontier markets disease surveillance system designed collaboratively from the ground up with DRC health care workers and the Tanganyika MOH to facilitate effective data flow in the DRC’s challenging operational environment.

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Prism’s British Friends of Model (BFO)

The Lake Tanganyika Floating Health Clinic set up as a Collective Fund in 2015, benefiting from Prism’s British Friends of Model. This model allows established charities like the LTFHC to fundraise in the UK in a time, cost and tax effective manner. As soon as a Collective Fund is set up, the group can start fundraising immediately allowing these groups to benefit from Gift Aid straight away.

 

A Collective Fund offers a swift, flexible and responsive alternative to those wanting to fundraise for charitable programmes without having to go through the onerous process of setting up a standalone charity. Prism’s charitable expertise and financial administrative service ensure that all activities adhere to charity law. Prism is an expert in the due diligence required to grant to charities around the world. As the responsible charity, Prism screens the beneficiary charities to ascertain how the funds will be used in line with UK charity law, which gives the founders of the Collective Fund peace of mind. As the UK charity sector has a complex regulatory system, outsourcing the governance and compliance to charitable experts such as Prism, allows the founding charitable groups to focus on fundraising and delivering their projects.

 

1 https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/malaria

2 https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-01011-6

3 https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/ebola/drc-2019

 

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