Leveraging Mobile Technology for Maternal Health in Gujarat, India
I’ll be going away to Gujarat, India this summer to work with ClickDiagnostics, a health & technology start-up that focuses on designing and implementing telehealth mobile solutions, specifically with the aim of enhancing the capabilities of community health workers to deliver cost-effective, high quality health services. In order to develop, pilot, and implement mobile health (mHealth) solutions that are sensitive to local needs, Click works directly with in-country partners. For the purposes of this project, Click will be partnering with SEWA Rural, a community health organization based in rural Gujarat, India.
The main aim of SEWA Rural’s Family Centered Safe Motherhood and Newborn Care Project (MNCP) is to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity in rural Gujarat through its Community Health Project, which covers 168 villages and 171,000 rural and tribal inhabitants. The most critical component of the MNCP are CHWs, who are responsible for conducting home visitations with mothers in every village within SEWA Rural’s mandate. These women provide the following services: prenatal care and counseling, maternal and newborn monitoring and care, timely identification of complicated deliveries, and post partum care for mothers and young babies followed by family planning-centered counseling.
SEWA Rural has requested ClickHealth’s help and expertise in setting up appropriate health technology platforms to support community-based interventions related to their community health workers, specifically with respect to the development of the following:
- Tracking mechanisms for every pregnant mother and her newborn to ensure appropriate and timely delivery of health services
- Timely identification of the complications related to maternal or newborn care, in addition to provision of guidance to front line workers to appropriately manage such cases at the field level
- Prompt referral system for complicated cases to the base hospital
- Supervision and monitoring tools for tracking the work performed by the front line workers at the village level
- Generation and aggregation of CHW health reports at regular intervals
Based on these needs, the primary aims of this project are:
- to assess the knowledge base and existing responsibilities of community health workers (CHWs), specifically with respect to maternal, neonatal, and child health service delivery;
- to understand the field-level health data collection mechanisms, specifically in terms of what kind of information is collected, how, and for what purpose(s); and
- to identify potential mobile phone products and services that can sufficiently address the needs of the organization, CHWs, and local community.
As my work progresses, I will keep you updated with new insights – in the meantime, if you would like to meet up and / or learn more about the project, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me directly!