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The Belgian Deputy Prime MInister and Minister for Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo, handed out the D4D-award this past weekend. It is a biannual initiative of the Royal Museum of Central Africa with the support of the Belgian Department for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Assistance (DGD). There were three winners in all: an online video platform Access Agriculture, an app for mobile money transfers, and the app WisePocket, a spin-off of a cooperation between Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Universidad de Oriente in Santiago de Cuba.
The WisePocket app, an VLIR-UOS-funded project, uses interaction and gamification to make healthcare campaigns more effective and quantify their efficiency. The Belgian MInister for Development Cooperation, Alexander De Croo, praised the use and interaction of new technologies combining economic and social life while ensuring easy access to these new applications.
The project is an integrated mobile application that offers a development platform for public health ministries and health organisations. It allows them to monitor the health situation of vulnerable populations, provides medical methodologies for those health technicians who might be unfamiliar with certain illnesses, consolidates data for diagnosis, and it facilitates decision-making. Not only this, but one of the main requirements was that it can also be used offline, given the areas where it would be needed and used the most, often have issues with internet connectivity.
It is the first time that a Cuban project has been presented this award and it provides recognition to the interuniversity cooperation between the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and Universidad de Oriente, based in Santiago de Cuba. Another VLIR-UOS-funded project, the ‘Geo-Observer Network’ in Uganda, did not win, but was nevertheless one of the three nominated projects for the IChoose Award.