In Africa, volunteer work and the application of Astrium technology have come together to disseminate best primary medical care practices, which are essential to reducing the high infant mortality rate in Sub-Saharan Africa (174 deaths per 1,000 births).
For three years Astrium led the NetAdded initiative until 2009, aimed at reducing the digital divide in developing countries through the deployment of hybrid solutions using low-cost satellite transmission and wireless segments. For example, in Morocco 10 rural schools and two medical centres have been connected to this knowledge network.
More recently, Astrium has being leading the SAHEL demonstration project (Satellite African e-HEalth vaLidation) for the European Space Agency and the European Commission. The project is built around three services supported by satellite connectivity: medical eLearning, clinical services for diagnostic support, and an electronic health management information system. With pilot sites in Kenya and Senegal, SAHEL will play a key role in the development of the future pan-African telemedicine network, taking full advantage of satellite-based broadband internet services.
Astrium is also participating in the recently awarded ISAES contract (Interoperable e-Systems for Africa Enhanced by Satellites).