Research Projects


The European Union funded mHealth4Afrika (Mobile Health for Africa) project is building a mobile, electronic management system for patient/client data in public clinics and hospitals in South Africa, Kenya, Malawi and Ethiopia, initially focussing on the records and data for pregnant women and their full pregnancy cycle until the new-born phase. This will assist in early detection and prevention of health problems during pregnancy, child birth and early childhood. In South Africa and most African countries, patient records are still mostly paper-based. The electronic management of records will go a long way towards better and more efficient healthcare management. The mHealth system will work on any device (laptop, cell phone, tablet, pc) that can access the internet even though the solution also works without internet connectivity.

For more information vist:

Contact person:  Prof Darelle van Greunen (Email:

Mobile Applications for Tuberculosis

The application (funded by the Discovery Foundation) will enable community health workers, (CHW’s), and general healthcare practitioners to enter health data into an ordinary cell phone. This tracks patient trends and themes to identify and contain potential disease spread. Among data recorded are X-ray reading results, sputum requests/results, kinds of medications used by the patient, contacts they’ve had, glucose levels (due to the strong TB/diabetes correlation) and what patients ingest.  A current area of investigation is recording the free speech of patients during CHW home visits, plus the patient using their own phone to record moods at intervals during the day. Key words are identified and used to correlate with recorded activities and ingestion. One aim is to educate and engage patients to motivate them into self-management of their conditions to enable longer and healthier lives. 

Contact person: Prof Darelle van Greunen (Email:

School Health Assessment

It is the aim of this project to demonstrate the use of ICT in Health to improve School Healthcare. The primary objective of this project since 2013 was to make use of mobile devices with specific mobile applications to improve access to school healthcare and health education based on the needs of the school nurses in the Intsika Yethu district.  The solution is currently adapted to allow for scalability to several other districts including Sarah Baartman and the Western Cape.

Contact person: Alida Veldsman (Email:

Capacity Building Project

Common Good First (co-funded by the European Union and in partnership with Glasgow Caledonian University) aims to support and grow the emerging South African social innovation sector by creating a digital network to capture and showcase social impact projects in South Africa, connecting them to each other, academics and HEIs around the world. In doing so, we will also address the issue of the ‘digital divide’, as identified by the country’s National Development Plan 2030 (2013), by supporting the growth of e-skills among community groups, including innovative digital storytelling modules which will be co-designed and taught by young people in our partners HEIs and community projects. Based on the high usage of mobile phone technology in South Africa, we will ensure that these platforms are at the heart of our content and application development.  

For information visit:

Contact person:  Prof Darelle van Greunen (Email:

Space for Digital Creativity

Engagement and Outreach Programmes

Learn to Code The Centre for Community Technologies’ Learn2Code prograrem has been running since February 2017 and teaches Grade 6 and 7 learners from under resourced schools in Port Elizabeth’s Northern Suburbs how to code. The learners attend classes for an hour once a week where they are taught soft computer skills and coding using a software called Scratch. The program is run by Mr. Afikile Sikwebu who is the Technology for Education facilitator at the CCT. The program, funded by the Nelson Mandela University’s Research Fund and the CCT, started as an out of school, extra-curricular program for Grade 9 – 10 learners but has since been altered to an internal program for primary school learners where the facilitator goes to the schools to teach. Currently in its second year running, Learn2Code has seen over 300 learners pass through the program

Contact person:  Afikile Sikwebu (Email:

Droning by Kite: One thing that children have in common, no matter which generation they are from, is that they love to play and explore. CCT’s Educational Technology initiative has incorporated this into their innovative “Droning by Kite” program. The high cost of drones has put this flying technology out of reach for many of the children in the Northern Areas where the CCT has an education technology footprint. It is due to the high cost of drones that an alternative was developed, where learners are taught to make their own kites, using available materials and attaching cell phones to the kites. The phone is then sent up with the kite to capture video footage. Mathematical skills are an integral part of the exercise as learners have to calculate the dimensions of the kite accordingly to ensure that it responds with the wind velocity and resistance. The kites also have to be sturdy enough to hold the cell phone.

Contact person:  Afikile Sikwebu (Email:

The Youth Leadership Academy is currently in its 7th year. The FamHealth-Nelson Mandela University Youth Leadership Academy’s mission is to educate the youth, strengthen the family and rebuild the community by aiding and supporting the educational, spiritual, moral and social development of at-risk-youth.  Grade 11 learners from schools in the Northern Areas participate in this initiative over a period of nine months attending workshops and activities on a variety of topics that contribute to their development. Several presenters are from the Nelson Mandela University community and give of their time on a voluntary basis.


Contact person:  Johan Botha (Email:

e-Skills for Community Healthcare Workers is an initiative under the management of Mr Grant Jacobs, the Computer Lab Manager in Gelvandale.  The aim is to add e-skills (MS Office, Internet and email) to the healthcare training of community healthcare workers enabling them to also use technology in their daily tasks.  To date, more than 1500 community healthcare workers have received training at the facility in Gelvandale.

Contact person:  Grant Jacobs (Email:




Contact information
Professor Darelle van Greunen
Director: Centre for Community Technologies
Tel: 27 41 504 2090