Kenya team develops top Call for Code solution improving access to medical care

Open source solution, Mbali Health, was selected as regional winners for innovation to help Kenyans in low income areas gain remote access to medical care during the pandemic. 

Nairobi, Kenya – Dec 2020:   IBM and David Clark Cause today announced the Middle East and Africa regional winner of the 2020 Call for Code Global Challenge. 

This year’s regional winning solution is from a team of developers out of Nairobi, Kenya, who designed the Mbali Health application that connects patients to care providers in a socially distanced way. 

With the COVID-19 pandemic actively spreading among citizens and with countries facing increased lockdown procedures, it was increasingly difficult for patients to gain access to medical care in a safe and socially distanced manner. Through the Call for Code Challenge, the developers of Mbali Health created a solution for Kenyans powered and secured by IBM Cloud Hyper Protect Virtual Servers and Hyper Protect DBaas with MongoDB, a simple chat interface that gives the patients easy access to healthcare providers through WhatsApp. With over 90% mobile penetration, the easy to use application is effortlessly accessible to a large population of Kenyans allowing for them to interact and receive diagnosis from physicians from the comfort of their homes. 

As the winner for the Middle East and Africa region, Mbali Health joins Call for Code’s ecosystem, which unites the world’s millions of developers and data scientists to unleash the power of cloud, AI, blockchain, and IoT technologies to solve pressing global problems with sustainable and scalable open source-powered technologies.

Mbali Health will be awarded a total of $5000 which will go towards future development and deployment of the application. The team aims to include the transmission of voice and images. They will also receive support from IBM’s technical experts.

Speaking on behalf of Mbali Health, Sam Wilks said “We are honoured to have been part of the Call for Code challenge. During this pandemic we saw the struggle that the patients and clinics were facing and sought to develop a solution. To emerge as the winners in this region is not only humbling, but also pushes us to continue creating innovative solutions for the health sector; an area we are very passionate about.” 

The 2020 Call for Code challenge brought together developers, start-ups, and enterprise developers to create solutions to address the world's current COVID-19 pandemic in addition to climate change; two pressing issues that have the power to compromise our health, our planet, and our survival.  In addition to the winning team, the Call for Code Challenge had regional finalists from other African countries such as Uganda, Tanzania, and Nigeria tackling education, health, and climate change.  


Now in its third year, the Call for Code global competition has generated more than fifteen thousand solutions built using a combination of  open source-powered products and technologies, including Red Hat OpenShift, IBM Cloud, IBM Watson, IBM Blockchain, data from The Weather Company, and APIs from ecosystem partners like HERE Technologies and IntelePeer. Since its launch in 2018, this movement has grown to more than 400,000 developers and problem solvers across 179 nations, reflecting the reality that challenges like climate change and COVID-19 demand solutions that work on the local level, but also have the ability to scale and help any community, anywhere.

“At IBM, we do our best to apply data, knowledge, computing power, and insights to solve difficult problems. The regional winners, Mbali Health, have embodied the Call for Code Challenge to have developers ambitiously tackle the pressing issues we are currently facing during this pandemic using the power of Cloud, Digital, AI, blockchain, and IoT. I look forward seeing this application deployed across the region and would encourage other developers in Kenya and across the region, to submit their solutions to the next challenge as we aim to work together to solve some of the world’s most pressing issues,” said Caroline Mukiira Country General Manager - East Africa. 

About Call for Code Global Challenge 

Developers have revolutionized the way people live and interact with virtually everyone and everything. Where most people see challenges, developers see possibilities. That's why David Clark, the CEO of David Clark Cause created Call for Code in 2018, and launched it alongside Founding Partner IBM and their partner, UN Human rights. 

This five-year, $30 million global initiative is a rallying cry to developers to use their mastery of the latest technologies to drive positive and long-lasting change across the world through code. The Call for Code community includes United Nations Human Rights, The Linux Foundation, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative University, Cloud Native Computing Foundation, Verizon, Persistent Systems, Arrow Electronics, HERE Technologies, Ingram Micro, IntelePeer, Consumer Technology Association Foundation, World Bank, Caribbean Girls Hack, Kode With Klossy, World Institute on Disability, and many more. 

Call for Code global winning solutions are further developed, incubated, and deployed as sustainable open source projects to ensure they can drive positive change. 


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Press Contacts:

Louise Wanjohi  

External Relations Leader, IBM East and West Africa