Lead Partner-Trek Medics International (NY, USA)

Tanzania Rural Health Movement (MZ, TZ)

Background: BEACON is an SMS-based emergency medical dispatching software designed specifically for communities that cannot afford advanced dispatching technologies. By relaying an SMS from the scene of an emergency to trained responders throughout the community, the software enables the nearest available emergency care providers to quickly locate, treat and transport emergency victims to local hospitals.

Purpose: Beacon was designed to improve access to rapid emergency care and expedited transport for people with life- or limb-threatening illness and injury

Objective:  Emergency medical systems using Beacon dispatch will ensure that 90% of critical patients requesting emergency assistance will have an emergency responder at their side within:

  • 10 minutes in village centers
  • 30 minutes in peripheral communities

Eligibility criteria

In order to implement and utilize Beacon successfully, the following eligibility criteria should be met:

Emergency Medical Care

  • A minimum number of layperson first responders, relative to the target catchment area’s determined needs, trained and proficient to locally-acceptable standards of care, with additional training in scene and personal safety to ensure that the highest possible level of responder, patient and bystander safety is maintained during each emergency response


  • A minimum number of patient-appropriate transport vehicles, relative to the target catchment area’s determined needs, are in-service and equally distributed to ensure that minimum response time objectives are met

Communications (Beacon)

  • Human Resources: A minimum number of personnel are trained to fill the necessary roles and assume responsibility for the dispatch system’s operations on a 24-7 basis:
    • IT Location Administrator, to effectively operate, use and manage the Beacon dispatching software and backup communication tools, including maintaining full documentation of operations, testing and performance
    • Dispatcher, to effectively take calls from community members requesting emergency assistance, dispatch a minimum appropriate number of first responders, provide on-going in-call supervision, and ensure backup communication tools are available and functioning
    • First Responders, to effectively use Beacon for medical emergency response through text message interaction, including backup communication tools
  • Physical Resources:
    • For dispatch and response:
      • A consistent mobile phone signal
    • For system and admin monitoring:
      • A basic laptop computer with 8GB of RAM
      • Strong, uninterrupted internet connection (or 4G, if possible)
      • 24-7 power for the internet and computer

Program Steps

1) Recruit young adults, transport drivers (motorcycle and tax drivers) and other community members that are already responding to medical emergencies
2) Train them in first aid and patient-handling skills through a two-day course, irrespective of
literacy or socio-economic status (approximately 1% of population)
3) Register trainees’ mobile phone numbers with Beacon dispatch system to be notified in the
event of an emergency and conduct community-wide training exercises
4) Conduct community outreach and education initiatives including community-wide response
exercises to spread word among the general public
5) Launch the system through a public ceremony

Program Outcomes

  • Decreased Response time
  • In town centers, 90% of patients requesting emergency assistance will be attended within 10 minutes or less.
  • In rural areas,90% of patients requesting emergency assistance will be attended within 30 minutes or less
  • Patient outcomes
  • Reductions in injury-related fatalities
  • Reduction in intrapartum-related mortalities

Project Abstracts


Marko Hingi1, Jason Friesen2, John Ngonyani1,3, Alfred Chibwae1,3, David Riwa1,3, Rachel John1,3, Neema Mayagila1,3, Scott Campbell2, Michael McGee2, Hyasinta Jaka1,3, Nyambura Moremi1,3, Benjamin Gilmour2.


  1. Tanzania Rural Health Movement, P.O.Box 1464, Mwanza, Tanzania.
  2. Trek Medics International, 193 Bleeker 14th Street, New York, NY 10012 USA.
  3. Catholic University of Health allied Sciences-Bugando, P.o.Box 1464, Mwanza, Tanzania.

Corresponding author: marko@tanzaniaruralhealth.info

Background:  Despite the increase of road traffic accident (RTA) injuries that claim significant lives of people in low and middle income (LMIC), there is no reliable pre-hospital emergency care in Tanzania. This survey was conducted to study the use of text messages as an emergency medical dispatch system.

Methods:  In December 2015, a text message (SMS)-based emergency medical dispatch system known as BEACON software was deployed in Mwanza as a pilot region in Tanzania, The system receives a notification SMS from any person in urban Mwanza who happens to be at an accident scene. It then alerts trained responders located nearby to quickly move to the accident scene, provide an emergency first aid care to the injured and then transport the injured to local hospitals.

Results: from December 2015 to August 2016, a total of 104 trained volunteers responded to 112 incidents. An average of seven minutes was used by the responders to arrive at the accident scene following an initial alert.

Conclusion:  Minimal human, physical and financial resources can be used in  LMIC like Tanzania to dispatch RTA victims who need an urgent emergency care and enable them to get treatment within the golden hour. SMS-dispatching can be a cost-effective model of pre-hospital care system in all locations with mobile phones coverage in Tanzania.




Lead Partner – Tanzania Rural Health Movement (TRHM)

Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences-Bugando

 Background:   deals with provision of free wound nursing care and wound care education to the street children dwelling in Mwanza City.


  • To relieve pain and discomfort from occupational injuries
  • To promote wound care education among vulnerable children.
  • To reduce incidence of wound complications among children
  • To increase social interaction through provision of wound care


  • Recruiting volunteers for provision of wound nursing care and education
  • Hold awareness program about the project to the communities.
  • Plan for outreach program where children will be provided with nursing care and wound education free of charge

Expected Impact

  • To decrease pain and discomfort due to occupational injuries.
  • To decrease incidence of occupational injuries and complications.

Project Abstracts


Marko Hingi1, 2, John Mtomo1, 2, Nyambura Moremi*1, Hyasinta Jaka1, 2, Stephen E. Mshana1

  1. Weill Bugando School of Medicine, Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences P.o.Box 1464, Mwanza, Tanzania
  2. Tanzania Rural Health Movement. P.o.Box 1464,Mwanza,Tanzania

*Correspondence  :nyamburasogone@gmail.com

Background: Rapid growth of towns in low- and middle-income countries goes hand in hand with the increasing number of street children. Knowing the general health problems and needs of these children is crucial in helping them to live a better life. Therefore, this study was conducted to have baseline health status data of street children in Mwanza.

Methodology: Between April and July 2015, 226 children were enrolled in a study via the Wound Care Project after meeting the inclusion criteria. Their demographic data, anthropometric measurements, physical examinations and other factors related to their street life were summarized in a data collection tool. Children were examined to confirm the presence of wounds. Data were analyzed using STATA version 11(STATA Corp LP, USA).

Results: Male sex was predominant by 97.8% (221/226). The mean age was 14.1± 3.8 years. Majority 47.8% (108/226) of children were found to be ‘of’ the street children who spent all their time in streets. Based on BMI, 49.6% (112/226) were underweight. The rate of drug abuse was 32.3% (73/226); out of 73 who reported to use drugs; 49.3% (36/73) used marijuana. Of the 226 children, 109 (48.2%) had wounds with 88% (96/109) of them being traumatic type. The most common mechanism of injury was accidents 57.8% (63/109) followed by cut 20.2% (22/109). Of the 109 children with wounds, only 11 (10.1%) reported to receive Tetanus Toxoid vaccination.

Conclusion: There is a need for government authorities to consider providing free healthcare for street children. Further studies on microbiological pattern of their wounds, other common health conditions such as upper respiratory tract conditions and sexually transmitted infections should be carried for better understanding their health needs.

Multidrug-resistant Achromobacter animicus causing wound infection in a street child in Mwanza, Tanzania

Nyambura Moremi*1, Heike Claus2, Marko Hingi1, Ulrich Vogel2, Stephen E. Mshana1

  1. Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences, Bugando, Mwanza, Tanzania.
  2. Institute of Hygiene and Microbiology, University of Wuerzburg, Wuerzburg, Germany

*Corresponding author: Nyambura Moremi (nyamburasogone@gmail.com)


  • Fifth case of animicus worldwide and 1st case of wound infection
  • First case report of Achromobacter species in Africa
  • Unlike most Achromobacter species, the isolate was resistant to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole
  • The isolate was sensitive to ciprofloxacin and gentamicin
  • Importance of upgrading diagnostic facilities in Africa


Achromobacter animicus (A. animicus) is an aerobic, motile, gram negative, non-fermenting small bacillus that can also grow anaerobically with potassium nitrate. It has been isolated from sputum of humans suffering from respiratory infections. Literature regarding the role of A. animicus in wound infections is limited. We report a first case of a chronic posttraumatic wound infection caused by a multidrug-resistant A. animicus in a street child from African continent.

Read More Full Article 



Title: Open Access for All (OA4A) Project


Leading Partners/Funders: International Network Availability of Scientific Publication

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

Tanzania Rural Health Movement (MZ, TZ)

Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences-Bugando

Background: This project seeks to increase awareness and understanding of Open Access in rural areas through delivering Open Access e-resources training among medical students and rural health workers.


  • To raise awareness and educate the rural health workers about access of e-resources.
  • To enhance e-resources seeking behavior among health workers for promoting good health practices.
  • To promote libraries initiative to provide hosting services for open access journals.
  • To recruit medical students through cultivating cultures of Open access by sharing experiences and best practices in the development and implementation of Open Access Policies within the institution.
  • To explore the benefits of Open Access, Open Source and Open Standards to medical students and rural health workers


  • Use of all forms of media including print, electronic, social media and text to spread the projects campaign and activities.
  • Hold workshops to sensitize the rural health communities/medical students and generate more ambassadors for the Open Access campaign.
  • Conduct research on health workers/medical students’ attitude and perceptions on Open Access.

Expected Impact

  • Increased awareness on the impact of Open Access campaign in medical practices.
  • To improve medical studies and practices through free access of Open Access, Open Source and Open Standard.

Project Article


Read Full Article

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial