3-year MOU signed with Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI)


January 10, 2022

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The Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) and benshi.ai jointly announced today that they have signed a 3-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to boost public health research outcomes in Ethiopia.

The MOU will cover wide-ranging areas of collaboration, including:

  • Capacity building for EPHI researchers in AI. As a start, benshi.ai will conduct a 1-week introductory AI and machine learning course for EPHI management, over 50 researchers, and frontline health workers in Ethiopia.
  • Using AI tools to generate research and evidence on selected public health nutrition issues.
  • Publicizing the outcomes of the collaboration to promote the use of AI to produce high-quality nutrition research in Ethiopia.

Together with benshi.ai, EPHI's Food Science and Nutrition Research Directorate is leading this collaboration. As a result, one of the main areas of research will be dietary difficulties and malnutrition.

This collaboration represents the first time that AI is introduced in research for public health nutrition at a national level in Ethiopia. By working closely with benshi.ai, a non-profit funded by the Bill & MelindaGates Foundation, EPHI aims to leverage advanced technologies and techniques to provide data-driven insights and boost strategies and outcomes for public health in Ethiopia.

Director of EPHI's Food Science and Nutrition Research Directorate, Dr. Masresha Tesema, said:

"Machine learning is key to excellent research. EPHI's collaboration with benshi.ai has a lot of promise for integrating AI and machine learning in nutrition research. Machine learning and artificial intelligence can help nutritionists conduct high-quality research. Researchers will be able to embrace and sustain machine learning methodologies while delivering high-quality research output as a result of our collaboration. We'll be partnering with benshi.ai from 2022 through 2024."

CEO and Founder of benshi.ai, Dr. África Periáñez, said:

“We are delighted about this unique opportunity to collaborate with EPHI. Government institutions are one of the key pillars of our partnerships in improving global health. By combining our AI expertise with EPHI’s knowledge on the ground, we look forward to bringing a new level of data-driven understanding for individual, population, and public health in Ethiopia.”