HP, Clinton Health Access Initiative collaborate to improve HIV testing and treatment of infants in Kenya

HP (NYSE:HPQ) today announced an alliance with the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) that will provide structural and systemic improvements in testing and treating more than 120,000 infants exposed to HIV in Kenya each year.

“We believe these efforts will facilitate our ability to provide long-term health interventions that truly make a difference in keeping our population healthy and productive.”

The collaboration was facilitated at the Clinton Global Initiative's 2010 annual meeting.

With support from CHAI and the Kenya Ministry of Public Health & Sanitation, HP is providing technology that will capture, manage and return early infant diagnosis (EID) HIV test results in just one to two days after results are ready - a significant improvement from the previous paper-based system, which took two to three months. The turnaround time for test results is especially critical, as infants diagnosed with HIV must begin anti-retroviral treatment (ART) as quickly as possible to ensure survival. Without immediate treatment, half of HIV-positive infants are unlikely to survive past age two.

"Technology and innovation are key to solving many of the most pressing challenges of our world, none of which are more urgent than a disease which takes the lives of 31 children every minute," said President Clinton. "I'm pleased HP's technology and expertise will enable the partnership with CHAI to save the lives of more than 100,000 infants in Kenya each year, and in the process, demonstrate how the private sector can and should operate in the developing world."

The HP technology provisioning includes five HP data centers connected with four existing laboratories. Within the first year in operation, HP and CHAI expect to process EID HIV test results for approximately 70,000 infants, as well as provide real-time medical data to health practitioners throughout Kenya. The system also will scale to support Kenya's Ministry of Public Health & Sanitation as it expands Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) services to more than 3,000 facilities during the next two years.

"Technological innovation holds immense promise for addressing societal challenges," said Léo Apotheker, president and chief executive officer, HP. "Our efforts with CHAI and the Kenya Ministry of Health demonstrate the critical role technology can play in improving access to healthcare worldwide and driving positive change for millions of people."

To support CHAI and the Kenya Ministry of Public Health & Sanitation in this effort, HP is supporting students from Strathmore University in Nairobi, Kenya, who have developed a custom database application that uses cloud computing to improve the tracking process and make test results available online, as well as via SMS/GSM-enabled printers in real time.

With financial and consultative support from HP, Strathmore students built the application using HP technology labs that were installed in Nairobi last year. The new database application also allows real-time analytics on the performance of the program to Ministry of Health decision makers. Additionally, the database will be used to communicate with rural health centers via SMS (short message service) regarding the status of test results.

The HP Office of Global Social Innovation has completed the installation of two data centers in Nairobi at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) and the National AIDS/STI Control Program (NASCOP) headquarters. Three additional sites are expected to be online next year at KEMRI centers in Busia, Kisumu and the Ministries of Health headquarters at Afya House.

HP's $1 million investment also includes servers, storage, PCs, networking equipment, SMS-enabled printers, and local IT training and support.

"The impact of the work done by HP and CHAI is incredibly significant and will help create healthy futures for families across Kenya. It will also support our Government's effort to collect and analyze health data that is useful for guiding policy and health service delivery," said Hon. Beth Mugo, Kenyan minister for Public Health & Sanitation. "We believe these efforts will facilitate our ability to provide long-term health interventions that truly make a difference in keeping our population healthy and productive."


 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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