Bright Simons & mPedigree win Grand Prize at UNESCO
2/4/2011 8:33:15 AM -
At the fourth NetExplorateur Forum, the Grand Prix NetExplorateur 2011 was awarded this morning to m-Pedigree. The Ghana-based project uses the mobile phone as a weapon against pharmaceutical counterfeiting with the aim of saving lives.
At UNESCO headquarters, Paris, Eric Besson, French Minister for Industry, Energy and the Digital Economy awarded the Grand Prix NetExplorateur to Bright Simons, founder of mPedigree, at a ceremony that also recognised nine winners of NetExplorateur of the Year awards. Every year, the Grand Prix NetExplorateur goes to the world's best digital innovation.
m-Pedigree: saving lives with just a text message
Created in Ghana, and having begun a pilot roll-out in six African countries, the mPedigree platform is supported by technological partners such as Hewlett-Packard for IT infrastructure, pharmaceutical laboratories and government bodies.
mPedigree works with pharma companies such as May & Baker PLC of Nigeria and the KAMA Group of Ghana to make instant authentication of drugs possible.
Anyone can send a free text message to the mPedigree platform quoting the code on the medicine's packaging. The system sends back a message confirming whether the product is genuine.
Bright Simons, founder of the mPedigree network, is an Ashoka fellow and has received a Desmond Tutu Prize from the Africa Leadership Institute.
Fake medicine kills an estimated 2,000 people a day worldwide, chiefly in Africa and Southeast Asia. In some developing countries, fake medicine accounts for up to 25% of the market according to the WHO.