OpenMRS Welcomes with Open Arms

Suranga Kasthurirathne | Open Source at Google | October 27, 2011

Recently, I had the rare privilege of attending the annual Implementers meeting of OpenMRS, my Google Summer of Code mentoring organization. Thanks largely to the conference sponsorship by Google, OpenMRS was able to fund my week-long visit to Kigali, Rwanda. I traveled over 4,500 miles to meet with core OpenMRS developers, other volunteers, implementers (people with both IT skills and health care experience who work to deploy OpenMRS in their hospital, clinic, laboratory, etc.), service providers and researchers who had gathered there for the conference.

Arriving at Kigali, I was amazed at the diversity and fellowship amongst the community, and of how happy they were to accept me as one of their own. I took part in a pre-conference hackathon and visited the OpenMRS Implementation meeting at Rwanda’s TRAC Plus health clinic. I listened to why implementers from Village Health Works used an Access database for their Burundi clinic, and to Dr. Joaquin Blaya’s work with Interactive Voice Response. Eduardo Jezierski, the CTO of InSTEDD, talked to me about their work in Haiti, while Christopher Bailey of the World Health Organization spoke of his experience working with developing countries...