Who We Are
Our story began with the Open Architectures, Standards and Information Systems (OASIS) project, investigating open technologies in low-resource settings.
We soon needed a home for all this work. And so, with the assistance of two early OASIS funders, the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Rockefeller Foundation, we spun Jembi out of its original home in the South African Medical Research Council into an independent non-profit company. Continuing to grow with programmes in Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa and Zimbabwe. In 2009, we registered Jembi Health Systems as a non-profit company.
From the start, our strength was in the networks we support and cultivate. Our unique approach to partnering with governments to ensure the sustainability of our programmes. Acting as an intermediary between the public sector and our donors. Facilitating links between country programmes and the wider international open-source communities. These connections and partnerships were the sources of rapid, organic growth that required the refocused vision and mission. Clear messages about who we are and what projects we take on.
At each step, Jembi evolved to meet the changing needs. In 2010, our new Corporate Services Division began creating the systems we needed to take on larger and more complex grants.
At the centre of our work is providing value to our end-users. Once there is a clear value to their work-lives, we find users embrace new technology. If health practitioners see the benefits, we capture richer and more useful data. Helping end-user, funder and ministry. In the end, this serves our shared goal of better health outcomes for all people.
WHAT'S IN A NAME?
The djembe is a traditional West African drum, struck for centuries by skilful drummers. Who made them speak across valleys and plains.
Long before telephones, people shared stories from one village to another. Inviting 'everyone to gather in peace,' as the name suggests. The world's first internet; sharing ideas through the night sky.
We adopted the drum's purpose, as the symbol of both our work and our message. Sharing knowledge, benefiting and uplifting communities, crossing divides and distance together in peace.
A world in which health systems and information advance global health.
We are an African non-profit organisation improving global health by developing information systems, partnerships and local capacity, with a focus on low-income countries.
DR CHRIS SEEBREGTS
Dr Seebregts is the founder and Chief Executive of Jembi. A digital health professional with a background in biomedical research, computer science and information systems.
After completing a PhD in medical biochemistry at the University of Cape Town, he studied computer science and software engineering and established the Biomedical Informatics Research Division at the South African Medical Research Council (MRC).
He started Jembi as a project within the MRC and spun it out as a separate organisation in 2005. He is currently the Principal of the MRC - Jembi Collaborating Centre for Digital Health Innovation. As well as an Honorary Research Associate in the School of Public Health and Family Medicine at the University of Cape Town.
We work with these great organisations to fulfil their hopes for a better world. We partner with both our international funders and local country governments. We balance the needs of both ensuring the sustainability of our collective programmes.