Some years ago the term mHealth sounded “ambitious, hilarious, unbelievable,and mostly non-African” Mobile phones or just technology in rural healthcare? It seemed a big joke and three years down the line we have a testimony that it really works.
“In the entire chain of healthcare, the front-line healthcare workers play the game”, These are words close to what Josh Nesbit, CEO Medic Mobile, continually mentions in his posts. Notably, he reckons that Medic Mobile as a technology organization with most of its inclination towards rural healthcare, “knows technology as a tool, not a solution, focuses on communication gaps, not just data collection, works in challenging settings, and focuses on improving health in under-served communities and gets excited about ubiquitous technology, because accessibility matters”. This is what drives us into improving our strategic partnership with Medic Mobile our technical partners in our mHealth project in Coastal Kenya.
Within the years we have reached out to a cohort of CHWs in groups of 45, 100 and now 50 all receiving our technology piece that includes a mobile phone, solar charger and relevant training towards improved uptake for Antenatal Care and Immunization for children.
Seemed too basic at start but with professional planning through the Human Centered Designs we get to understand how the chain flows and our tools and approach is then guided by well documented data flows visualizing each step.
We thus authoritatively confirm that mHealth works and conclusive indicators from our initial work show that In Ganze, Kilifi of Coastal Kenya, after a one-year pilot, institutional delivery rates increased from a baseline of 20 deliveries per month to 48 deliveries per month (no maternal deaths). Immunization rates for referred children increased from 18 to 30 children per month. “This is awesome”, reckons the District Medical Officer of Health as impact is clearly seen to penetrate the efforts of the Community Health Workers-CHWs.
The A -B-C of mHealth is thus as simple as ABC and it works.