Where We Work
See our interactive map
April 24, 2009, Chapel Hill, NC—Global non-profit IntraHealth International is releasing a special remix for a limited time on the IntraHealth OPEN website in honor of World Malaria Day. Iconic rapper Mopreme Shakur, brother of the late Tupac Shakur, created the remix of Youssou N’Dour’s song “Wake Up—It’s Africa Calling” to draw attention to the need for open source training, collaboration and development for health workers across Africa. Benu Mabhena, the African actress who played the lead female role in the movie 'Blood Diamond' joins Shakur on the track singing in her native Zulu.
Malaria is the number one killer of African children, and more efficient remote and mobile data collection, medical databases and eHealth tracking efforts for health workers are needed to strengthen worldwide efforts to prevent and treat this deadly disease. IntraHealth currently works to prevent malaria cases and reduce malaria deaths among children and pregnant women in Senegal, Rwanda and Mali. Programs focus on extending improved treatment options into communities and distributing bednets.
The IntraHealth OPEN initiative was created to address the most critical health issues in Africa by putting the latest open source technologies directly in the hands of health workers. With growing connectivity, mobile phone use increasing at twice the global rate, web-based interfaces and PDAs, Africa can take advantage of cutting edge technologies in eHealth. Open source technology is ideally suited for application in low-resource environments being inexpensive, flexible and collaborative.
“With open source training health workers in Africa can join in the development of life saving systems. The IntraHealth OPEN Initiative will foster a new generation of technology professionals, eHealth workers, and national leaders who understand, use, and support open technologies to improve health” said IntraHealth’s CEO Pape Gaye.
Incorporating the concepts behind the IntraHealth OPEN initiative Shakur sings about health and technology in what could easily be called the first ever theme song for open source technology and health in the developing world.
'New prosthetics and medicine, new hospital clinics, open source technology - free the people - go get it, staying mobile - we're global - united shake the game, wake up to new ideas to reduce the pain,” sings Shakur in a particularly poignant verse.
“I was so moved when I heard about this project,” says Shakur. “I want to use my music to make a difference and I have been inspired by IntraHealth and by Youssou N’Dour’s commitment to change the way people think about health, technology and the developing world.”
Youssou N’Dour has been using music to bridge the digital divide in Africa for years and has been a leader in the fight against Malaria, HIV/AIDS and other critical public health issues. “I was drawn to this project because open source technology lets us address health challenges collaboratively enabling African developers to lead, designing programs to meet the specific needs of our people,” said N’Dour. “If we invest in open source development training in Africa we will be supporting a new generation of self-sufficient health professionals able to use technology and customize programs to meet the most urgent needs. Better organized, efficient, affordable and sustainable systems save lives.”
IntraHealth and Youssou N’Dour have recently partnered with Indaba Music to launch a global remix contest to raise funds and visibility for the IntraHealth OPEN initiative. The same “Wake Up” tracks used by celebrity artists are now being made available to the global music community allowing fans and supporters to rework the song. Judges for the contest include Youssou N’Dour, David Bither of Nonesuch Records and OPEN Remix artists Toubab Krewe. The winner of the Indaba Music Remix contest will be announced at a special OPEN ceremony at the Global Health Council in Washington D.C., May 26th.
Rolling through the fall, free downloads of the songs will be available with a suggested donation through several distributions partners including Rhapsody, iLike, Amazon MP3, and through IntraHealth’s website at www.intrahealth.org/open.
IntraHealth International is a global health nonprofit that champions the critical role of health workers in health and development. For over 30 years, IntraHealth has empowered health workers to better serve communities in need, fostering local solutions to health care challenges by improving health worker performance, strengthening health systems, harnessing technology, and leveraging partnerships. The nonprofit’s work is supported and funded by the US Agency for International Development, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, private foundations, corporations and individuals.
Rapper, Writer, Producer Mopreme Shakur is best known for his work with his brother, the late Tupac Shakur, and the albums they recorded as members of the groups Thug Life and The Outlawz. His upcoming solo album Alpha Thug follows 20 years of icon status in the pop culture of rap music. www.myspace.com/mrmopremeshakur
Grammy-winning music legend Youssou N’Dour is one of Africa’s music pioneers, putting African music on the world map, creating the mbalax style, which evolved from the imported Afro-Cuban sounds that dominated the West African pop scene in the 1950s and ’60s, and collaborating with international recording stars including Peter Gabriel. He is well known for his humanitarian efforts and for his focus on health and technology in Africa. www.youssou.com
Open source is a set of principles and practices on how to write software, the most important of which is that the source code is openly available.1 Because open source technologies are transparent, easily accessible and generally free of licensing and upgrade fees, they are ideally suited for application in low-resource environments.
1 A definition created by Bruce Perens, co-founder of the Open Source Initiative with Eric S. Raymond.
Contact: Heather LaGarde