Mobile Communication for Rural Health Project

I stumbled across this blog by Josh Nesbit discussing the use of FrontlineSMS, a tool to set up a text-based communications network, in a rural health project in Namitete, Malawi.

Here’s a 7 minute long interview with one of the community health worker. At about 3:00 she starts discussing the advantage of having a cell phone:

And here’s an interview with Alexander Ngalande, a nurse at St. Gabriel’s Hospital in Namitete, regarding his experience with FrontlineSMS:

He now uses SMS to communicate with the community health workers to coordinate his medical visits to remote villages. Previously he required a motorbike to send a message when he would be in attendance.

Examples of text messages being sent:

– A man missed his appointment with a TB officer. A CHW was texted, who reported the man had gone to Zambia for a funeral. The hospital will be notified upon his return.

– An HIV support group met, and decided on new member guidelines. Via SMS, the group leader asked the hospital to print copies for the lot.

– A CHW asked about ferrous sulfate dosages, so he could administer the proper amount to an anemic child.

We take this type of communication between medical staff and patient for granted.

See also this BBC article.

One Reply to “Mobile Communication for Rural Health Project”

  1. Thanks for picking up on this, Chip!

    There’s some great work going on in Malawi right now. Communication is an essential component of rural healthcare, and FrontlineSMS is simply helping facilitate that.

    There’s talk of replicating this work in other clinics in Malawi, plus others in India and Kenya. This is a typical example of ‘low hanging fruit’, and we need to do whatever we can to help other clinics who can benefit from this to get their hands on it.

    Ken
    http://www.kiwanja.net / http://www.frontlinesms.com

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