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Chiapas Health Workers Improve Maternal Health with mHealth

Rural Chiapas might appear to be an unlikely place for mHealth initiatives to gain traction—with one person in four unable to read, and little cell phone reception or internet connectivity in the mountains, it would seem that accessing understandable information through mobile technology would be a challenge for health workers and patients alike.Yet the community health workers of Compañeros en Salud (CES) have found unexpected ways to make innovations in mobile health technologies work for them and strengthen their programs.CES, a sister branch of Partners in Health, started training frontline health workers in 2012, who in turn began outreach initiatives to treat patients who previously had to travel long distances and pay exorbitant prices to receive care. Women in Chiapas die in childbirth 70% more often than the national average. In the two years since the project’s start, CES has managed to provide affordable care to tens of thousands of patients. This reach is in some part due to their incorporation of mHealth apps (which function offline once downloaded) to better manage their patient information, minimizing the “time-consuming and error-prone process” of using and maintaining paper health records.Within just one year, the team was able to use this technology to collect health information from over 5,000 patients.More recently, CES staff realized they could use these tablets for more than just data collection and efficient record-keeping; they could also use them as tools to educate health workers and their patients.Mobile apps could also be used to train health workers and help them to build new skills such as identifying symptoms and responding to emergencies. Frontline health workers could also use educational images and messages with patients to help explain a condition or help a patient to describe their symptoms.To explore this idea, CES performed a field-test using the Safe Pregnancy and Birth App, a mobile application developed by Hesperian Health Guides in 2011 to provide life-saving information about pre- and post-natal care. The field test was conducted by community health workers, midwives, and clinic staff, who used the app during checkups with patients

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Mobile phone app fights TB in Vietnam

What do the following facts have in common? Vietnam has 90 million people and roughly 120 million mobile subscriptions (a 130 percent saturation rate). Cases of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis are rising in Vietnam, 23 percent of which are retreatment cases. Here’s the answer: … Continue reading » ; ; ; ;Related StoriesFriday Think: the $150 ebola technology challengeThe future of field appropriate diagnosticsNew test combats major cause of preventable blindness in Africa ;

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Text Message Campaign Helped Senegal Stop Ebola Outbreak, WHO Says

Media sources report on the WHO’s announcement that a text messaging campaign helped Senegal stop a local Ebola outbreak. CQ HealthBeat: Text Messaging Aids in Ebola Fight, WHO Says “…Senegal’s recent stamping out of Ebola was achieved not only through its rapid infectious disease control work but also by using a novel approach relying on…More

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Chiapas Health Workers Improve Maternal Health with mHealth

cellphone2

Rural Chiapas might appear to be an unlikely place for mHealth initiatives to gain traction—with one person in four unable to read, and little cell phone reception or internet connectivity in the mountains, it would seem that accessing understandable information through mobile technology would be a challenge for health workers and patients alike.Yet the community health workers of Compañeros en Salud (CES) have found unexpected ways to make innovations in mobile health technologies work for them and strengthen their programs.CES, a sister branch of Partners in Health, started training frontline health workers in 2012, who in turn began outreach initiatives to treat patients who previously had to travel long distances and pay exorbitant prices to receive care. Women in Chiapas die in childbirth 70% more often than the national average. In the two years since the project’s start, CES has managed to provide affordable care to tens of thousands of patients. This reach is in some part due to their incorporation of mHealth apps (which function offline once downloaded) to better manage their patient information, minimizing the “time-consuming and error-prone process” of using and maintaining paper health records.Within just one year, the team was able to use this technology to collect health information from over 5,000 patients.More recently, CES staff realized they could use these tablets for more than just data collection and efficient record-keeping; they could also use them as tools to educate health workers and their patients.Mobile apps could also be used to train health workers and help them to build new skills such as identifying symptoms and responding to emergencies. Frontline health workers could also use educational images and messages with patients to help explain a condition or help a patient to describe their symptoms.To explore this idea, CES performed a field-test using the Safe Pregnancy and Birth App, a mobile application developed by Hesperian Health Guides in 2011 to provide life-saving information about pre- and post-natal care. The field test was conducted by community health workers, midwives, and clinic staff, who used the app during checkups with patients


How we made FrontlineSync

If You Build It, They Will Come This year we deployed our Android SMS gateway app — FrontlineSync — to public beta. We decided to build FrontlineSync to make it easier for our users to connect the power of FrontlineSMS to the GSM network. Connecting to the mobile network can be a barrier to users, so we wanted to build a resilient and easy to use platform that would work everywhere.


Mobile phone app fights TB in Vietnam

vietnam map wiki

What do the following facts have in common? Vietnam has 90 million people and roughly 120 million mobile subscriptions (a 130 percent saturation rate). Cases of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis are rising in Vietnam, 23 percent of which are retreatment cases. Here’s the answer: … Continue reading » ; ; ; ;Related StoriesFriday Think: the $150 ebola technology challengeThe future of field appropriate diagnosticsNew test combats major cause of preventable blindness in Africa ;


Text Message Campaign Helped Senegal Stop Ebola Outbreak, WHO Says

Flickr - whiteafrican

Media sources report on the WHO’s announcement that a text messaging campaign helped Senegal stop a local Ebola outbreak. CQ HealthBeat: Text Messaging Aids in Ebola Fight, WHO Says “…Senegal’s recent stamping out of Ebola was achieved not only through its rapid infectious disease control work but also by using a novel approach relying on…More


Like writing? Social innovation? Technology? Read on.

If you’re interested in technology – in particular the human face of technology in international development – have excellent writing and research skills, and want to develop our presence on the National Geographic website, then we might have the perfect opportunity for you. For a number of years, kiwanja.net has worked hard to take the ‘mobile message’ to the masses, sharing human stories of how technology is improving lives around the world and sharing them in an accessible format with the general public. “Digital Diversity“ with National Geographic is our flagship effort, and to date we have posted dozens of stories on how different technologies, from mobile phones to solar power, are improving the lives of people everywhere. The series is very popular and has strong support from the National Geographic staff who regularly tweet and share the stories with their millions of followers. The series has recently been managed by a number of volunteers, a couple of which have since gone on to take up full time roles with international development organisations


Frontline at Nine

For a technology product, a 9th birthday is no small feat. It’s an even bigger feat for a technology non-profit.


Every three seconds

Every three seconds, someone in the world dies from hunger or extreme poverty. In a society where materialism reigns, what is the real secret to happiness? Award-winning filmmaker Daniel Karslake (For the Bible Tells Me So) tells the unforgettable stories of five regular folks – a boy, a college student, a thirty-something and two seniors – whose lives went from ordinary to extraordinary based on one simple decision: to engage. Each chose action over apathy, and in the process, each one has had a significant and lasting impact on two of the most challenging, yet solvable, issues of our time: hunger and extreme poverty.


The folly of “Designing with the end user”

After years of near-invisible end users, it’s promising to see the beginnings of ‘end-user recognition’ in much of ICT4D‘s emerging best practice. It looks like we’ve made a big stride forward, but we’re not where we need to be yet, despite making all the right noises. To a great extent, we’re still saying one thing and doing another. The international development sector, which includes the ICT4D community, is famously uncoordinated. That’s no surprise to many of the people who work in it.


International development: A problem of image, or a problem of substance?

The world has problems. Big problems. They need big answers, ambitious projects and innovative solutions. And they cost money. Lots of it.


4 Ways to Properly Include Women in Your mHealth Initiative

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Social norms and stigmas often lead to men owning mobile phones more often than women in many parts of the developing world. Sometimes when a woman does happen to acquire a phone, she even faces threats of violence because of her ownership. These unfortunate findings show that gender is one of the biggest issues in mHealth and ICT for Development in general. Unfortunately, according to a 2013 literature review, there has not been substantial research about gender relations in mHealth interventions. My name is Jack O’Rourke and I am a student at Fordham University.


Accept the Smartphone Reality in Development

Flag_of_Tanzania_(WFB_2004)

Recently, Elvis Mushi of Twaweza, shared with me interesting mobile phone survey results from his Sauti za Wananchi program. I find them remarkable in two ways. First, he found that 80% of Tanzanian households own at least 1 mobile phone. Then he found that mobile phone coverage reached 88% of the population. One of the largest and poorest populations now has near-ubiquitous mobile phone access.


Rethinking livelihoods.

This post appeared on the PopTech blog and has been republished with permission. You can read the original post here. This post is co-authored by PopTech president Leetha Filderman, and Ken Banks, founder of kiwanja.net and FrontlineSMS. Together they are co-facilitators of the 2014 Bellagio/PopTech Fellows program.  We are pleased to announce the 2014 class of Bellagio/PopTech Fellows, a diverse group of designers, social innovators, technologists and writers with expertise in technology, global health, poverty alleviation, environmental sustainability and informal sector economics. Sean Blagsvedt, Alexice Tô-Camier, Dominic Muren, Robtel Neajai Pailey, Solomon Prakash This year’s program is focused on rethinking livelihoods


SFCG Nigeria uses FrontlineSMS to create a conflict Early Warning System

After successfully using FrontlineSMS in the Tomorrow is a New Day (TND) project to monitor and improve radio dramas in the Niger Delta, SFCG Nigeria chose to use the platform in a completely different capacity in Jos, a city in Northern Nigeria.  SFCG Nigeria is part of Search for Common Ground, one of the first and largest conflict resolution focused NGOs.  In Northern Nigeria, SFCG partnered with Community Action for Popular Participation (CAPP) to develop an Early Warning System (EWS) funded by the US Institute for Peace (USIP). SMS and emails have been used to spread rumors and inflammatory messages at terrifying speeds in Nigeria, exacerbating tensions. In order to empower local communities to respond, an EWS was developed to provide timely and accurate information to the Plateau Peace Practitioners Network (PPPN)[1] and Operation Rainbow, using FrontlineSMS, Ushahidi’s CrowdMap, and 109 focal points drawn from eight Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Plateau State.[2] The 109 focal points were chosen from a group of trusted community leaders and representatives, and were then trained in using SMS to submit reports on peace and violence in their areas as part of a bounded-crowd approach to crowdsourcing.  These SMS reports were collected using FrontlineSMS, which were used to create bulletins and monthly reports and to inform SFCG’s Voices of Peace Radio Program, in order to discredit inflammatory rumors.


Obstetric First Responders in Chiapas: innovative trainings by PACE-MD

We have been following PACE-MD with great interest. They focus on Obstetrical First Responders as the first link in the chain of survival in Mexico. We have long believed that the analogy to an EMT might be a better way to get beyond the long-standing disputes over what traditional birth attendants versus midwives versus others, including community health workers, can handle as far as maternal health emergencies. PACE-MD focuses on handling obstetric emergencies starting at the first contact with a health worker.


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