Posted on June 6, 2018 by staff

How IoT will help fight malnutrition in 100m Africans


An Internet of Things project backed by Vodafone is looking to help fight malnutrition in 100 million people across Africa.

The telecoms giant is working with Sanku – Project Healthy Children – to equip small flour mills across Africa with IoT services to provide nutritious fortified flour to millions of people.

Two billion people around the world suffer from micronutrient malnutrition. Fortified flour battles against hidden hunger in developing countries, which includes pervasive issues of micronutrient deficiencies such as birth defects, child development issues and blindness.

Sanku is bringing real-time, data-driven insights to 3,000 small scale flour mills over the next four years, with Vodafone’s global IoT SIM and USB Connect technology helping to significantly scale the programme and improve its efficiency.

In the past, one Sanku worker could only monitor 25 mills, which would fortify flour to feed 125,000 people. Vodafone’s IoT SIM now connects the same worker to 100 mills, which will fortify flour for 500,000 people. The Sanku worker receives alerts remotely and in real-time when the mills run out of fortified flour or require maintenance.

“It has been incredibly successful to date, bringing fortified flour to communities in need across the developing world,” said Sanku co-founder and CEO Felix Brooks-church.

“Vodafone’s IoT technology gives us the ability to significantly optimise and scale operations.

“Sanku currently helps provide fortified flour to around one million people and, with this new IoT connection, we are on a path to reach 100 million people by 2025.”

Vodafone and Sanku are rolling out Vodafone’s global IoT SIM and USB Connect technology to local flour mills in Tanzania and Rwanda, and will continue to implement the technology across Eastern and Southern Africa.

Vodafone Group enterprise chief executive Brian Humphries said: “Our project with Sanku is a perfect example of how the Internet of Things can improve people’s lives and help make a difference in even the poorest of communities.

“Connected technology gives Sanku the ability to significantly enhance efficiencies, enabling fortified flour to be delivered to more communities, playing an important role in helping to end malnutrition.”