UBRICA – A ‘MIRACLE’ TO THE COMMUNITY

A disease in simpler terms is an illness or sickness. Diseases in Africa can be prevented by simple measures, starting with proper education. This is by educating people on ways and how they can stay healthy as well as on personal hygiene. Personal hygiene is about keeping mind and body healthy always and so have a healthy society.

Most diseases affect our women and children which form the most vulnerable class. Diseases like diarrhea, one of the deadliest diseases in Africa, claims many lives and is very common among the poorest people in our society. Diarrhea is the result of contaminated water, inadequate hygiene, poor sanitation, malnutrition. According to the World Health Organization [WHO], 2018) approximately 525,000 children under the age of five die each year from the disease.

We therefore see poor diet and inability to absorb proper nutrients as a contributing factor. Ubrica an organization located in Nairobi decided to help the community by taking a step.

 Ubrica, a life-science and health production organization has come up with ways to solve problems facing Africa, starting with Kenya. Ubrica is investing in life science which comprises of manufacture of pharmaceuticals and medical devices, health care clinics and hospitals in Africa.

Ubrica Reality of Dreams

Ubrica has created an online retail store market known as Soko Janja. We have observed how the local farmers and manufactures have been struggling to sell their produce faster to the market unsuccessfully. Lack of market has largely contributed to poverty in the Society and lack of proper medical attention. Soko Janja market has been created to sell produce from farmers and local manufacturers to the local and International market. Manufactures and farmers are now able to sell their products through our online market which has generated wealth to the people’s pockets and are now able to access good health care services and live healthy lives.

Malnutrition due to poverty, can now be eradicated easily once the society is able to afford to feed itself properly.

Ubrica wants the Mwananchi (ordinary people) to easily access retail stores and take their produce next to a processing factory within the same locality, while accessing a clinic center. This brings us to our next project pioneered by Ubrica.

UBRICA Meets the Community

Ubrica is venturing into Kenyan market with retail clinical centers distributed all over the country. This is a community project we call Ubrica Retail Clinical Centres (URCC). A URCC comprise a retail store, a clinic and a processing factory in one particular area.

Here we can see a farmer who produces mangoes at his farm, is able to display his mangoes in the retail store which will attract shoppers who will become clients in the clinic centres. The farmer is also able to take his produce to the factory for processing and packaging which shall be sold in the local or international market. All these within reachable location. This increase in industrialization will bring better sanitation while generating wealth for the community and so improve the living standards eradicating diseases which are caused by improper sanitation. Whenever people are able to produce, sell and receive money for their produce, this brings up a society that is emotionally and physically stable.

Ubrica health, not only does it want to improve lives of the local people but also focuses on how it can improve or better our health centres. It is of great significance to receive quality health care. Since the people are now wealthy and can afford the medical attention they need, it is paramount they receive the best care possible.

Ubrica Journal System

Ubrica Journal System was created with express purpose to educate the society on many facets of life. The journal system will host specific series on how to stay healthy and continue staying healthy. We are reaching out to all medical professionals in the country to write about their experiences in the hospitals, clinic or area of work at the hospitals. Doctors share their experiences with you through  the journals. The Journals will play a major role in our society, for the topics will vary from grand rounds, clinical-pathology meetings, case reports, anecdotes, original research works and monographs.

Since 2014, Ubrica has wanted a better Africa in life science and health care, let us now improve lives and lift the life of another (Michael Karuu, Ubrica-Vice President).

Ubrica cares for Africa for Kenya.

 

Author,

Jane Mbithe Jeremiah

BLOCKCHAIN IN HEALTH AND MEDICINE

Hundreds of doctors in Kenya have expressed interest in special seminar on blockchain in medicine. We believe it is critical to address this matter in support of Kenya Medical Association to respond to the needs of its members.

We have  created a September Seminar on Blockchain in Health and Medicine.

The Seminar on blockchain is intercalated in a wider event jointly created with Crown Women Rising (see details here)

Come, listen, gain hands-on experience in a breaking field of computer science. Learn what is blockchain, and how it intersects with the field of medicine.

Date: Thursday, September 6, 2018

Detailed Program, Nairobi Safari Club

PROGRAM COORDINATOR: PATIENCE COMFORT

Time – Activity, Person Responsible

9.00 AM – What is blockchain, Wahito Wachira

9:15 AM – The Open Ledger, King Solomon

9:30 AM – Decentralized Ledger, Richard Gitau

9:45 AM – Mining, Kelvin Kamiti

10:00 AM – Consensus Algorithms, Purity Muthua

10:15 AM – COFFEE/TEA BREAK

11:00 AM – Blockchain in Medicine and Health, Susan Nyambura Njuguna

11:15 AM – Longitudinal Medical Record (Medical Information System), Maxwell Barasa

11:30 AM – Clinical Decision Support/Artificial Intelligence, Cynthia Ngaruiya

11:45 AM – Genetic Information Systems, Peter Kabi

12:00 PM – Payment systems, Triza Kang’ethe

12:15 PM – Community Health Decision Support/Artificial Intelligence, Richard Gitau

12:30 PM – LUNCH

2:00 PM – What is Ubricoin, Susan Nyambura Njuguna

2:15 PM – Why Ubricoin, Jordan Muthemba

2:30 PM – Consensus Algorithm in Ubricoin, Samuel Wanyoike

2:45 PM – How to Participate, Michael Karuu

BREAK

3:00 PM – Q&A and Enrollment, Precious Comfort

5:00 PM – ADJOURN

REGISTRATION

Follow the link below to register

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/crown-women-rising-and-ubrica-tickets-48904434480r

Thank you, look forward to this exciting Seminar.

Sincerely,

Macharia Waruingi, MD DHA
Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Health Administration
President and Chairman of the Board
Ustawi Biomedical Research Innovation and Industrial Centers of Africa [UBRICA]
Convener: Membership Committee, Nairobi Division, Kenya Medical Association [KMA]
Convener: Media Outreach Committee, Nairobi Division, Kenya Medical Association [KMA]
Convener: Medical Camps Committee, Nairobi Division, Kenya Medical Association [KMA]
Email: macharia.waruingi@ubrica.com
Web: http://ubrica.com

 

 

ENTRUST STEM – First Annual Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Camp

STEPHJOY SCHOOLS – UBRICA YOUTH MENTORSHIP PROGRAM

Dorcas Nyawira, Joyce Mugambi, Wahito Wachira, Susan Nyambura Njuguna, Caroline Muthoni Ndigirigi, and Macharia Waruingi

Wednesday, December 5, to Sunday, December 9, 2018

STEPHJOY GIRLS’ HIGH SCHOOL

LIMURU, KENYA

The Problem

The general problem is that Science education in Africa is not well developed (Hennesy, 2015). Introduction of Western education in Africa ushered introduction of science education. The style of teaching from the beginning was problematic because science was taught as dogma rather than systematic inquiry (Ogunniyi, 1986). Consequently, science teaching in African countries does not impart practical knowledge (Ramnarain, 2016). The resulting problem is that science knowledge in Africa does not translate to commercial products that people could use to solve problems. Widespread absence of innovation renders Africa a large technological desert (Odedra, Lawrie, Bennett & Goodman, 1993)

The specific problem is that practical education in science is missing. African education enterprise does not promote awareness about the importance of practical training in science. Questions arises:

  • How can we increase awareness of importance Science education in Africa?
  • How could awareness of importance of practical science education in Africa result in increase in technological innovation?

The Solution

Stephjoy Schools and Ubrica joined hands to create Entrust STEM a Youth Mentorship Program that is focused on advancement of practical use of science and technological knowledge among young people in Africa. The purpose of entrust is to generate lasting interest in science among primary school, high school and university students. Each student will be matched with a mentor who is a person accomplished in any field of science and technology. Entrust will emphasize practical use of scientific knowledge to create appropriate technologies for solving local problems. The program will commit each student to engage in hands-on experiences of using science to create products or services.

It is under this Program that Entrust STEM plans to host an annual science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) mentorship camp at Stephjoy School in Limuru Kenya. The inaugural event will take place Wednesday, December 5 to Sunday, December 9, 2018.

The purpose of the event is to promote science-based careers among high school and university students. The event will help to demonstrate the critical importance of knowing how to use scientific knowledge effectively to spur profound development social, economic and political development in Africa.  The event will focus on helping the students understand the role of science to each student as an individual, domestic uses of science at home to help solve family issues, and general use of science in the society. We hope to address questions:

  • How do we use science to create technologies that can be used by families to improve life at home? (e.g., making vinegar from fruits, making home remedies from herbal trees, using pyrethrum to control insects that carry dangerous diseases such as malaria, etc.)
  • How do we use science to create technologies that can be used by the society to solve social problems? (e.g., mobile technologies for solving traffic congestion in cities, corruption, water shortage, flooding, health care, etc.)
  • What is the role of mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, computer science, engineering, technology in life? How would knowledge of these subjects inform the process of development of relevant, appropriate technologies for Africa?
  • What are examples of relevant and appropriate technologies developed from profound understanding of science and related subjects?

Significance

This project is significant to stakeholders of science and teaching in Africa. The figure below is a map of stakeholders who would benefit from the program.

Entrust STEM will help to transform education that is presently suffering business theories left over from the 80s and 90s. Currently in Africa, most STEM jobs are performed by or outsourced to multinationals from other countries like China. People working for African governments are signing large infrastructure contracts with foreign organizations instead of demanding that the future workforce be sourced from local people. Development of local human resource is crucial for national growth.

Over the next decade, African employers can expect to have millions of jobs requiring basic STEM literacy. Hundreds of thousands of people will need advanced STEM knowledge. Companies in Africa are already struggling to find skilled employees with STEM knowledge. Africa is crying out for skilled young people in every single country. The mismatch between their current skills and what the companies need is getting wider.

Demand for research, skills and education and STEM is increasing in Africa. STEM education is a specifically important strategy for Africa’s socioeconomic transformation and poverty reduction.  Entrust STEM is concerned about Africa’s development towards knowledge-based society. Entrust STEM foresees widespread creation of new technology-based types of jobs in Africa. This will broaden the requirement for integration of STEM in education. Entrus STEM will support creation of effective STEM classrooms that energize students, help them grow into creative thinkers and collaborators. The program will help to generate ideas for solving real-world engineering design problem. It will empower girls to aspire to careers in STEM and break down the barriers of gender bias, Improve performance of the STEM subjects in school- practical learning.

In the future, Entrust STEM may help to increase supply of qualified STEM teachers, teacher confidence in subject matter, access to education resources such updated text books. Fully developed Entrust STEM will help overcome language barriers by putting scientific language in the mainstream. Ultimately Entrust STEM will spur opportunities for economic growth driven by

knowledge, research, development, entrepreneurship and analytical knowledge of STEM education.

Camp Program

The First Annual Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics for Africa’s Development will involve a five-day onsite camp at Stephjoy Girls’ High School, Limuru, Kenya. This inaugural event will be followed by continuous online mentorship program. The table below shows the program of the event.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018
6:00am-8:00am Arrival of Campers
8:00am-10:00am General Session 1
10:00am-10:30am Break
10:30am-11:30am General Session 2 (Mathematics)
11:30am-12:30pm General Session 3 (Mathematics)
12:30pm-2:00pm Lunch & Interaction
2:00pm-3:00pm Workshop 1 (Mathematics)
3:00pm-4:00pm Workshop 2 (Mathematics)
Thursday, December 6, 2018
8:00am-10:00am General Session 4
10:00am-10:30am Break
10:30am-11:30am General Session 5 (Sciences)
11:30am-12:30pm General Session 6 (Sciences)
12:30pm-2:00pm Lunch & Interaction
2:00pm-3:00pm Workshop 3 (Sciences)
3:00pm-4:00pm Workshop 4 (Sciences)
Friday, December 7, 2018
8:00am-10:00am General Session 7
10:00am-10:30am Break
10:30am-11:30am General Session 8 (Technology)
11:30am-12:30pm General Session 9 (Technology)
12:30pm-2:00pm Lunch & Interaction
2:00pm-3:00pm Workshop 5 (Technology)
3:00pm-4:00pm Workshop 6 (Technology)
Saturday, December 8, 2018
8:00am-10:00am General Session 10
10:00am-10:30am Break
10:30am-11:30am General Session 11 (Engineering)
11:30am-12:30pm General Session 12 (Engineering)
12:30pm-2:00pm Lunch & Interaction
2:00pm-3:00pm Workshop 7 (Engineering)
3:00pm-4:00pm Workshop 8 (Engineering)
Sunday, December 9, 2018
8:30am-9:00am Arrival of Parents
9:00am-12:00pm Parents and Students General Session
12:30pm Leave at own leisure

 

Organizing Partners

This event will be co-hosted by Stephjoy Schools and Ubrica

The event will be targeting the USAID, Canadian Government, JICA, STEM in the USA, Africans in the Diaspora.

Format

The format includes general sessions, panel discussions with specialists from the different professions and workshops.

Outcomes

The Camp is expected to have the following outcomes:

  • More students encouraged to engage in the science and technical careers
  • More mentoring opportunities in the future
  • Emergence of new networks for science in Africa
  • Properly trained professionals
  • A better future for Africa in science

 

Author notes

Ms. Dorcas Nyawira, Director of the STEM Camp and Operations Manager, Stephjoy Schools,

Mrs. Joyce Mugambi, Advisor to the STEM Camp and President, Stephjoy Schools

Ms. Wahito Wachira, Advisor to the STEM Camp and Director of Legal Research, Ustawi Biomedical Research Innovation and Industrial Centers of Africa [UBRICA]

Ms. Susan Nyambura Njuguna, Advisor to the STEM Camp and Director of Research and Professional Community Development, Ustawi Biomedical Research Innovation and Industrial Centers of Africa [UBRICA]

Ms. Caroline Muthoni Ndigirigi, Advisor to the STEM Camp and Coordinator of Research and Professional Community Development, Ustawi Biomedical Research Innovation and Industrial Centers of Africa [UBRICA]

Dr. Macharia Waruingi, Advisor to the STEM Camp and President, Ustawi Biomedical Research Innovation and Industrial Centers of Africa [UBRICA]

Contact: Phone: +254 722 680 567; Email: entruststem@gmail.com

TRIP TO NGONG ROAD

by Stanley Minda

Greetings people of Kenya! My name is Stanley Minda. I am doing an internship in the marketing sector of Soko Janja in the UBRICA. On the 16th of July 2018, the marketing team and I visited Ngong Road to see street sellers who sell their products on the road due to poverty which leads to an inability of getting proper premises to sell their equipment. We went there to pitch the idea of Soko Janja to them to help them market and sell their products with greater ease. When we were there I saw the good, the bad, the ugly and the opportunities of recruiting these people and being a street vendor. In this article, I will be explaining to you, the reader, what I saw and learnt.

The Good

The first thing I learnt and observed was that a lot of the workers were willing to listen to our pitch which, to be honest. That, I did not expect; the workers were very friendly and seemed intent on listening to our idea. They also knew each other and were willing to point us in the direction of other sellers who they thought may be willing to listen to us and use our online marketing platform.

Out of the 12 people we explained our idea to, 9 of them agreed to let us help them through Soko Janja. They also agreed to let us take photos. Some even wanted to take the photo themselves to ensure their products are well represented in our online market. Another positive thing I saw was that there were a lot of original products which, if advertised to the right market, would be very quick to sell due to their originality and high quality. It would also help Soko Janja which is lacking variety, attract more diverse customers and will help spread its reach.

The Bad

Some of the street sellers were not willing to be filmed for our UBRICA channel. They thought we were journalists and would not be told otherwise. This is obviously bad for us because we want to tell the whole story of our journey and do not want to leave any stone unturned.

A lot of the businesses on the roadside had managers who were not there. The sellers who were there listened to us but told us we had to wait for their managers in order to seek permission from them to take pictures for and register them for Soko Janja. This process was very tedious and wasted a lot of precious time as we were hoping to talk to as many sellers as possible.

Some of the sellers were absent minded and didn’t seem interested in talking to us at first. If that is how they behave towards all their potential customers it may be a factor in why their products are not selling even though they are well made, original and of high quality.

It was also difficult to find some of the sellers as they were sitting far away from their products and did not check if customers were coming to view their products which means they may miss some customers who do not bother to wait or search for them.

The Ugly

A major disadvantage to the street sellers in Ngong Road is that they sell their products right next to sewage drainage. There is also a lot of dust in and around where they sell and, in the air, due to dust being kicked up by cars as they drive on the road. This means that their area of business is dirty, has a terrible smell of sewage. It is extremely unsanitary. I believe it is one of the major factors they don’t get a lot of customers. The unsanitary state of their business premises is unattractive to customers who lose interest as soon as they see where these products are being sold. The dust also gets on products like furniture which makes them unattractive to potential customers and causes them to lose interest in these products which, usually, are of very high quality.

It is also extremely dangerous for people walking as the products take almost all the space and people are forced to walk incredibly close to the road which highly increases their chances of getting hit by a car. As these cars are driving through, the sellers are exposed to a lot of exhaust fumes which could cause pulmonary complications in the future. Since the sellers work and sell on the roadside with no shelter they are exposed to all types of weather (e.g., extreme heat/cold,  and heavy rain which also affects their products).

When we were there, I witnessed someone trying to sell products that were not his.  The impostor, even had knowledge about the products that a customer would think only the owner of the products would know. He was caught and beaten thoroughly  by the other sellers when they discovered what he was attempting to do. When we asked the sellers, they told us that that was a common occurrence in the street selling business. It had happened to some of them as well. Theft of products when operating on the roadside is a huge risk and the workers must be extremely careful with their products.

The Opportunity

With as many problems as these street sellers face, it is easier for us to get them on board Soko Janja. They know their businesses won’t be on the road for a long time. They know they would get the opportunity to get more marketing and sales of their products through Soko Janja.

There is a wider variety of products for Soko Janja to market and sell which is sure to attract more customers that are diverse and increase Soko Janja’s brand awareness. One of the goals of UBRICA as a whole is to help the Kenyan citizens improve their lives and by helping these street sellers sell their products through Soko Janja we can help them improve their lives in multiple ways (e.g. provide better for their families, move their businesses to better premises etc.). Since we will be helping the government by helping these people get off the roadside our company could collaborate with them and they could help us fund our various projects through grants and subsidies.

Conclusion

The more I work in UBRICA, specifically Soko Janja, the more I learn about the true state and suffering of the poor in Kenya and learn how, through Soko Janja, we can help them improve their standards of living.