The country director of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Nigeria, Dr Mairo Mandara has said Nigeria needs technology that will serve the health needs of a bulk of her population better than pilot projects that serve only a few. Mandara, among panellists at the “Health Meets Tech Future of Health Conference” in Abuja, said Nigeria had an array of small projects aiming to bring technology into health care. Among them is a technology supported by the Gates Foundation to track field vaccinators immunising children against polio. “What we need to do is to bring them to scale,” Mandara told Daily Trust. “It is not good enough that we have a pilot serving 200, 1000 people. Even a million people in the context of Nigeria is not good enough.

We have a country if over 180 million people. “We need technology that will go out and serve a bulk of our people, but most importantly serve the people in need and address the diseases and challenges that are important to us.” Mandara noted that there was a need to define problems and offer solutions from the point of view of populations affected, insisting the “arrogance of education” is a problem in itself. “We always think we know, so everybody else should do what we want, while the reality is we should listen to people’s wants and therefore know where to meet them and provide solutions to what they want,” said Mandara.