It always seems impossible, until it is done.

Attributed to Nelson Mandela

Founder

Steve Letchford has 20 years of clinical care and healthcare leadership experience in sub-Saharan Africa. Over the years working in hospitals in Zambia and Kenya, Steve realized that health information technology had the capacity to radically transform healthcare. Since existing health IT was wildly expensive and designed for a different context, Steve put together a team and began to build affordable, powerful IT tools specifically designed for healthcare teams in very low-resource settings.

Banda Health at a glance

Started as the SIM OpenHMIS (health management information system) Project in 2012 with a group of volunteers.

Team of programmers in Nairobi, Kenya.

Founded a separate US 501(c)(3) non-profit in 2016

Why "Banda Health"? Because bandas - Swahili for makeshift shelters - are where life happens in the communities that don't have access to good healthcare.

Technology

Health IT has huge potential to enable good healthcare in the midst of poverty, and the need is urgent. Banda Health’s “big picture” dream is to develop and implement comprehensive IT systems for hospitals and clinics that are both affordable and extremely robust.

For now our main focus is on the business software needed by small clinics at the frontlines of healthcare in some of the toughest situations, so they can provide good healthcare out of scarcity.

Banda Health Programmers

Progress to Date

We currently have two clinics piloting our proof of concept business software. These facilities have seen significant successes so far, with stock-outs reduced to zero for the past two years, inventory costs reduced by 40%, and patient wait times halved.

We released clinical database apps for Inpatient Medicine and Pediatric Surgery in 2017. The Inpatient Medicine app is in use at AIC Kijabe Hospital, and the Pediatric Surgery app is in use next door at Bethany Kids. These tools enable healthcare teams to track and manage patients during and after care. They significantly improve healthcare quality in the short term through better coordination between care teams. In the long term these apps connect best health outcomes to most cost-effective treatments, which improves healthcare quality and reduces cost to patients and providers. 

We are in discussions with a company to partner in delivering a mobile guided diagnosis tool to front-line healthcare workers. Powered by artificial intelligence, in early testing the technology has demonstrated the ability to improve the diagnostic capacity of nurses and community heath workers. Guided diagnosis technology has the potential to completely change the game for rural clinics that typically do have a physician. Though still its early stages, we are excited by the possibilities this partnership would create.