Peek has been named as the winner of the Tech4Good for Africa Award at this year’s virtual Tech4Good awards ceremony. Peek was recognised for its smartphone technology and public health tools that help its partners deliver more efficient, more effective and more equitable eye health programmes in multiple countries across sub-saharan Africa and beyond.
The awards, organised by AbilityNet and BT, celebrate the businesses, people and initiatives that are paving the way for a more inclusive, accessible and better world through the power of digital technology.
The judges and award hosts praised the way in which Peek works with local partners and stakeholders to develop tailored programmes using its evidence-based technology and public health expertise.
The Tech4Good for Africa Award category was sponsored by Comic Relief. Announcing the winner, Olly Dawson, who oversees social tech and sport for change at the organisation, said: “It’s been a real privilege to read such inspiring entries and it was incredibly hard to pick a winner… Peek Vision demonstrated really clearly how relatively simple tech can address a far reaching health issue across Africa. Plus it’s great to see such a good and relevant range of stakeholders working together on a tool, which I think can really provide the potential to scale it and increase the impact of it well beyond Africa.”
In sub-saharan Africa, Peek is working with international NGOs including CBM Christian Blind Mission, Operation Eyesight Universal and Vision for a Nation, as well as local partners such as Zimbabwe Council for the Blind, ALERT hospital (Ethiopia), Ruharo Eye Centre (Uganda) and Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (Tanzania).
In Botswana, the Government, represented by the Ministry of Health & Wellness and supported by the Ministry of Basic Education, is partnering with Peek to roll out a national school eye health programme to help ensure every school-going child with eye problems in the country is identified and treated.
Peek Vision Co-Founder and CEO, Dr Andrew Bastawrous, said: “The whole Peek team is delighted to have won this award - thank you to the judges and congratulations to all the other inspiring finalists. Peek won a Tech4Good Award for Digital Health back in 2014, and that recognition propelled us on to secure new funding and deliver new research programmes to help us develop and test our technology.
“We’ve come a long way since then, and Peek technology has now been used to screen hundreds of thousands of people globally and connect those with vision problems with treatment. We’re lucky to work with incredible partners who are using our tools to break down the barriers to eye care in regions and communities where it’s hard to access. We’re especially proud of the way Peek enables our partners to identify gaps in the services so they can continuously improve and help ensure that those people who are hardest to reach receive the treatment they need. We’re looking forward to launching many more community and school eye health programmes and scaling our reach and impact over the coming months and years.”
The other finalists in the Tech4Good for Africa Award category were the Haller Farmers app, U Afya (Every1Mobile), Unlocking Women and Technology and iJustice Hub, who were selected by the judges as highly commended.