Tuesday, May 10, 2016

WHAT: Azeez Butali, an assistant professor of oral pathology, radiology, and medicine in the University of Iowa College of Dentistry and co-founder and CEO of the non-profit organization Health Trends, will hold the international unveiling of a new app that helps seeks to lower the mortality rate of children 5 and under in Nigeria.

WHEN: A media event is planned for 12 p.m. Nigerian time (6 a.m. U.S. Central Time, 7 a.m. U.S. Eastern Time) Friday, May 20 to formally announce an app developed by University of Iowa researchers to better connect mothers of infants and young children with healthcare providers. Healthcare specialists, including dietitians, neonatologists and community health specialists, will convene the same day to develop short messages that will be sent to patients via the app.

WHO: Butali and other members of his Health Trends team, including Dr. Osayame Ekhaguere, Co-Founder and Director of Clinical Services for Health Trends; Priscilla Dikko, Health Trends Administrative Manager; and Dr. Saheed Arogunre, Health Trends Field Manager South-South, will be available to answer media questions.

WHERE: GolfView Hotel and Suites


12, General Adeyinka Adebayo Road, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos state, Nigeria.


Media who cannot attend in person are invited to connect via Skype by dialing Dr. Azeez at Azeez.butali2 or calling Ms. Dikko at +2348054525738

WHY: Nigeria, Butali’s native country, has the distinction of having one of the world’s highest child mortality rates (about 2,300 children under 5 die each day in the country, or 840,000 each year) and the highest percentage of individuals with mobile phones (an estimated 95 percent). The leading cause of the child mortality rate is a lack of communication between mothers and doctors. With a ratio of one doctor to more than 2,000 children, communication can be overwhelming, and children rarely receive the checkups, routine immunizations, or follow-up visits after sickness or injury that would help them thrive. Butali and his team at the University of Iowa created a nonprofit organization, Healthcare Trends, which has developed software and a related app that enables healthcare providers to text, email, or send voice messages to mothers reminding them about appointments and immunizations and providing important information about practices that can help protect the health and safety of their children. Butali hopes to expand the reach of the service to other developing countries.

MORE: To help raise money in support of their efforts, Butali’s team has launched a crowd-funding website, Help My Pikin (Pikin being the Nigerian word for child), at https://onemissionfundraising.com/fundraisers/help-my-pikin/, with a goal of raising $10,000. The crowdfunding campaign was launched with help from the University of Iowa Office of Research and Economic Development’s UI Ventures program. More information about the non-profit organization, its software and its app may be found at http://healthcaretrends.co/. A video about the project may be viewed at https://vimeo.com/157658728/de45c61ab0.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Dr. Azeez Butali, Co-Founder and CEO of Health Trends, azeez-butali@uiowa.edu or (in U.S.) 319-936-5406; Dr. Osayame Ekhaguere, Co-Founder and Director of Clinical Services for Health Trends, at osayame-ekhaguere@healthcaretrends.co or (in U.S.) 319-855-9093; or Stephen Pradarelli, Strategic Communications Director, University of Iowa Office of Research and Economic Development, at stephen-pradarelli@uiowa.edu or 319-384-1282.