How our Solution Works
Our pilot in Kilifi leverages cellular technology to improve the delivery of medical care. Using a model and open-sourced software developed by a NGO called FrontlineSMS:Medic and with components from projects developed by UNICEF and the Millennium Villages Project, we are working with the Ministry of Health (MOH) to provide mobile phones to a sizable portion of Kilifi community health workers (CHWs). This system will allow for the following:
- CHWs can share information with the central hospital about their patients through text messages—focusing on kids who are malnourished, doctors can then tell them what action to take.
- CHWs can request delivery of needed drugs for sick kids from their home base.
- Computers behind the system will be programmed to tell staff which children are in the highest risk categories and in need of immediate care based on data submitted via text messages from the CHW.
- MOH can determine, by examining CHW communications, which health workers need re-training and which might be able to serve as mentors to less experienced CHWs.
Listed are just some of the many facets of the program. Similar systems have already been put into place in Malawi and several other countries with great success.
The implementation of the project is planned over the course of two years. The initial phase of healthcare worker training and software installation began in July 2010 and continues today. A gradual rollout of services is planned for the twelve months following training. The evaluation of services will take place nine months out, with any program improvements implemented in the final three months of the project. Funding for equipment and text message costs are covered for one year.