Backed by the support of the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications' "ICT Overseas Expansion Package for Regional Projects," SOIK is launching a new pilot project aimed at improving maternal and child health in Zambia. The key technology introduced in this initiative is SPAQ, a digital platform designed to streamline prenatal and postnatal health screenings.
Uniting efforts across industry, government, academia, and NGOs, SOIK takes the lead; the certified NPO Rocinantes will handle on-the-ground surveys and monitoring, Kyushu University is responsible for medical analysis and evaluation, Bioseeds Inc. will manage water quality inspection and analysis, and Health and Tech LLC will oversee the development and operation of the digital system.
Training has already been conducted in targeted healthcare facilities and with community volunteers, known as SMAG, in Zambia's Central Province, specifically in the Chisamba District. Participants underwent intensive, focused training to successfully master the use of SPAQ and ultrasound imaging techniques.
In Chisamba District, one of the major challenges is providing medical care to high-risk pregnant women in remote areas. With SOIK's SPAQ technology, communication has been streamlined, enabling SMAG volunteers to conduct early screening in remote areas and facilitate pre-delivery hospital stays.
Following the completion of this pilot project, we plan to collaborate with aid agencies and the Zambian government to develop a strategic roadmap for further implementation of SPAQ. The newly formed multi-sector consortium, comprising industry, government, academia, and NGOs, holds significant potential to become a breakthrough solution for complex social challenges in Africa, making it a development to keep an eye on.