Shifo Foundation

Shifo Foundation: Every Child Counts

Stockholm, SwedenMukono and Wakiso Districts. , Uganda
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$1 million - $5 million
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

MyChild is used by nurses to register and follow up on every child to ensure they're protected from preventable diseases and deaths. The system generates all reports, shows the actual progress and gaps for decision making. Being registered and having healthy life start is the right of every child.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

We would know the real gaps in health service delivery based on every community, and work transparently with key actors to close the gaps based on reliable information and reach every child with preventive health services no matter where they live.
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Every year more than 1.5 and 3.1 million children die before their 5th birthday due to vaccine preventable diseases and undernutrition respectively. One of the main reasons for this is because children are not registered and remain outside the reach of health services. E.g. In Uganda more than 50% of children are not registered, and 48% of children are un- or under-vaccinated. In Afghanistan, malnutrition is a leading cause of child mortality.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

MyChild system ( helps healthcare workers to register children, keep track of their vaccination, growth, nutrition and other health-related information. MyChild has two interfaces - electronic & paper-based (digitised with the scanners) for health centres with and without electricity. MyChild prevents human errors, enables nurses spend more time with families and children by reducing administration. The system generates reports (see attached ECC Report) with root causes of why children are not receiving preventive health services, which enable key actors come together to close gaps in a transparent manner and follow progress in child health service delivery based on reliable, timely and transparent information.


Best Social Entrepreneurs in Sweden 2014; Join our Core, Ben & Jerry's 2014; Finalist in CIO Awards in 2015 - Sustainable Programme of the Year
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

With MyChild system, nurses register children with a unique ID. If a family loses the child health card the medical history is easily retrieved. Nurses can generate a follow-up list of children who missed their visit at a click of a button and mobilise them. Before MyChild system, nurses spent 2-4 hours every day with data management during care delivery process and up to 6 hours weekly to generate a follow up list. By eliminating non-value adding steps and strengthening services that are focused on families with children, we contribute towards efficient health systems where nurses allocate time to focus on every child to be followed up until they receive all preventive health services during static and outreach based health delivery.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

48 health centres use MyChild system. 39249 children are registered & 9842 are fully vaccinated to date. Technical support & on the job learning structure are functioning in the Central Region of Uganda. More than 100 nurses are Certified MyChild system users (attached). Capacity is continuously built in health centre managers & decision makers to utilise data to improve healthcare delivery continuously. Decision makers in Mukono have started to use reliable data to close the gaps in health services by engaging key actors. See real time impact here:,, Future impact is to work on a national scale to reach every child with preventive healthcare no matter where they live. Advocate for impact-based financing where contributions can be monitored to ensure effective/transparent utilisation of resources.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

We are conducting cost-effectiveness and impact evaluation to inform policy change on national level to institutionalise MyChyld system. Our goal is national implementation in 3 low-resource settings within 5 years. We are planning on a large scale implementation in Uganda & district level in Afghanistan. Several iNGOs are partnering with us to scale MyChild system in their regions (Plan International, Action Aid, Swedish Committee in Afghanistan). We began registration of pregnant women and women of childbearing age to follow-up on tetanus vaccination since children are effected by this.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

2-5 years: Governments share the costs of implementation and maintenance with support from Funding agencies until they realise impact of MyChild system and the reallocate funds to new intervention (based on cost-effectiveness evaluation). Surplus from private hospitals, paying a monthly fee for added value services, to Shifo will be used in poorest areas by Shifo. 5-10 years: Funding from Gvts and their development and cooperation partners.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

MyChild system addresses national & WHO clinical guidelines & is ready for national scale. Client integrity and security protocols are applied. Shifo's strengthens health systems and builds capacity locally in every region. MyChild is a tool, but strengthening the entire healthcare chain (from community to national levels) and focusing on the sustainability mechanisms and continuous quality improvement culture, where root causes of the child mortality and morbidity are addressed, are of major priority for us. We've dedicated our lives to achieve Shifo's vision and we've 15 years for it.

Founding Story

When you know about the problem, have knowledge, capacity and you deeply care about it, you cannot close your eyes and continue as before. Since 2004 we worked with health system strengthening programmes in Asia, Uganda and other countries within maternal, child health, HIV/AIDS, family planning etc. With support from Gates Foundation we learned about the root causes of high child mortality from preventable causes. These initiatives provided evidence for us and were the foundation to create Shifo. For us Shifo's impact is beyond health. It is our way of contributing to a world without poverty, hunger and gender equality where healthy people aspire to achieve their dreams.


We have a dedicated team that works every day to come closer to achieve our vision. The team comprises global health specialists, engineers, graphic designers, business analysts, health economists, and researchers working within partnership building, communications, strategic planning, programme management, research, capacity building, implementation, maintenance and sustainability models. Currently, 10 people are working full time. We have a Board of Directors and Advisors. We want to evolve the team with passionate members within established departments in Shifo in order to work in as many regions where the need to our work in great.
Please confirm how you heard about the Unilever Awards:

I received information about this beautiful initiative from Ashoka Europe.

Please confirm your role in the initiative (eg Founder/co-Founder) and your organisational title:


Which of the 8 UN Global Goals (Sustainable Development Goals) pre-selected for this competition does your solution relate most closely to? [select all that apply]

No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Gender Equality, Decent Work and Economic Growth.

Leadership and the Unilever Awards
Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

-Helping my mother several hours after school and during week-ends to operate her business (selling goods to people since I was 9 years old).
-Best student of the year in the elementary, high school and University where I received stipend (on a yearly basis)
-Best student of the year - in primary and high school in Tajikistan.
-President of the Democracy and Human Rights Youth Initiative in Tajikistan.
-Graduated elementary school with Gold Medal.
-Graduated University - MBA with Red Diploma (the highest achievable status)
-One of the best students included to the Dean's List in Eastern Michigan University.
-Won a competition by the USA Government ( among 7 students nationally from Tajikistan) to study MBA in Washington DC. and Michigan
-Director of Department of International Relations in Technological University of Tajikistan first to introduce Bologna Process in Higher Education Institutions
-Director of an NGO ShifoCom in Tajikistan (working with improvement of healthcare referral system from rural areas to the city hospitals)
-Project Manager and quality assurance developer in Karolinska University Hospital (from 2008- 2014)
-Best Social Entrepreneur in Sweden 2014
-Ben&Jerry's Join Our Core Finalist from Sweden in 2014
-PMP- Project Management Professional

Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?

Our advisors, our board of directors, our Ambassadors, partners from private and public sectors, individual donors- one time and monthly donors are helping us achieve our vision.
Our major country partners are Ministries of Health and other national agencies, District Health Offices, health centre managers and frontline health workers. We work with empowerment of families with children with support from midwives, nurses who provide health services to local communities and work with village health teams to mobilise families in the villages. Moreover in every region we work with iNGOs such as Plan International in Uganda, Swedish Committee in Afghanistan, Action Aid in The Gambia and Senegal, among others. In research activities our partners are Higher Education Institutions such as Makerere University, Karolinska Institute whom we work to be able to do advocacy and provide evidence based impact from our interventions.