Story image

Kiwi IT specialist makes a difference in Africa – opportunities available

16 Jan 17

You’ve probably heard about Mercy Ships, a faith-based not-for-profit that delivers free, world-class surgical and healthcare services, capacity-building and sustainable development aid to those without access in the developing world – all from big ships.

Every year, around 1,000 volunteers from up to 40 nations (including New Zealand) serve with Mercy Ships. While you can imagine there would be plenty of demand for professionals like surgeons, cooks, mariners and teachers, digitisation has seen IT positions become far more sought after.

Jonathan Clark, a trained information services specialist is a perfect example. In August 2016, Jonathan joined his wife Steph (a nurse) for three months aboard the Africa Mercy, in Benin, West Africa.

“I learned a lot about how technology can greatly improve healthcare globally while working for Orion Health,” explains Jonathan. He describes his role on the Mercy Ship as “An IT support guy for a lot of different business scenarios; a ship, a hospital, a bank, a TV service, an internet café, and the list goes on.  Each department has its own set of software and different setups of workstations.”

Jonathan had a number of vital tasks, including keeping essential hospital and maritime technology online and being involved in the roll-out of an IT initiative to benefit thousands of people in the most remote areas of Africa’s west coast.

Because many patients are too far away or too poor to make the trek to the hospital ship, a project utilising modified data-collecting app was initiated. The app has enabled the hospital ship’s mobile team that are travelling throughout remote regions of Benin to send key medical information back to the screening team on board who later travel to access all those pre-registered for surgery on board.

“I was involved in the roll out, and installed the app in devices; testing that the app forms worked before handing it off to the ship’s Medical Capacity Building teams,” Jonathan says. “It has been wonderful to be part of this improvement, even though it was a small part to play.”

For Jonathan, it has been a life-changing experience and one that he will never forget.

“The ship is a unique community,” reflects Jonathan. “Every job on the ship has an important purpose. It is an amazing example of Christians working together to make the world a better place.”

Click here to find out more about opportunities with Mercy Ships.

Survey reveals CX disconnect is risky business
Too much conversation and too little action could lead companies to neglect, lose, and repel their very lifeblood, according to Dimension Data.
Should AI technology determine the necessity for cyber attack responses?
Fujitsu has developed an AI that supposedly automatically determines whether action needs to be taken in response to a cyber attack.
Police making progress into Cryptopia breach
New Zealand Police say they are making ‘good progress’ into the investigation of an alleged cryptocurrency theft from Christchurch-based crypto exchange Cryptopia.
NEC concludes wireless transport SDN proof of concept
"Operation and management of 5G networks are very complicated and require automation and closed-loop control with timely data refinement and quick action."
Trend Micro’s telecom security solution certified as VMware-ready
Certification by VMware allows communications service providers who prefer or have already adopted VMware vCloud NFV to add network security services from Trend Micro.
Top cybersecurity threats of 2019 – Carbon Black
Carbon Black chief cybersecurity officer Tom Kellermann combines his thoughts with those of Carbon Black's threat analysts and security strategists.
Avaya introduces private cloud delivery of its UCaaS solution
Avaya is supposedly taking a flexible hybrid approach to the cloud with these new solutions.
Data growth the growing case for managed colocation
The relentless growth of data could see colocation take on a new importance, says Jon Lucas.