CIOs Without Borders: Rwanda

CIOs Without Borders is one program that really is changing the world. Headed up by Executive Director Atefeh Riazi of NYCHA, CIOs Without Borders is a global non-profit organization bringing medical knowledge and technology to underdeveloped nations.


Riazi first imagined CIOs Without Borders after travelling the world extensively as a CIO. During her travels, she came to realize that less developed nations, especially in the rural regions, were drastically behind in medical technology and access. She started CIOs Without Borders as a way to bring Information Technology to these nations, preventing as much suffering, illness, and death as possible.


One of their latest projects is called Project Rwanda, which is addressing the severe lack of medical personnel and access to medical facilities in the country. There are only 400 doctors in the entire nation—serving 10 million people. In other words, there is only one doctor per 25,000 people.


In rural India, there is currently a diagnostic program being used that could bring medical knowledge—if not doctors—to Rwandans with little or no medical access. It has been incredibly successful in India in the five years since its implementation. The program is currently undergoing modifications that could make it work in Rwanda as well. It is a simple enough program that a high school student can operate it.


Within the next year, CIOs Without Borders hopes to finish modifications, work with the Rwandan government, and lay down blueprints for 10 mobile rural healthcare clinics. Once completed, this program could greatly reduce the regularity of suffering from easily preventable, or even curable, diseases. Simple information about medical health can make such a difference.


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