Mobile Technology for Community Health (MOTECH) Ghana

Apr 11, 2011

MOTECH in Ghana has developed two interrelated mobile health services:

“Mobile Midwife” application: This service enables pregnant women and their families to receive SMS or voice messages that provide time-specific information about their pregnancy each week in their own language. This information is a mixture of: Alerts and reminders for care seeking (e.g., reminders to go for specific treatments, such as prenatal care or a tetanus vaccination). Actionable information and advice to help deal with challenges during pregnancy (e.g., tips for saving money for transportation to deliver at a health facility, what is needed for a birthing kit, nutrition information). Educational information, including milestones in fetal development, promotion of good health practices, and songs about breastfeeding. Voice messages are delivered in English or local languages. Two languages of the Upper East Region, Kasem and Nakam, were supported for MOTECH’s first implementation, and two languages of central region, Senya and Fante, will be supported in Awutu Senya. SMS messages are all delivered in English.

Nurses’ Application: The MOTECH system helps community health workers to record and track the care delivered to women and newborns in their area. Each rural health facility is equipped with low-end mobile phones on which the MOTECH Java application for health workers is installed. Nurses enter data about patients’ clinic visits into forms on the mobile phone and send this to the MOTECH servers. The MOTECH system then checks patients’ healthcare information against the schedule of treatment recommended by Ghana Health Service for that care event. If the system sees that a patient has missed care that is part of the advised schedule, the Mobile Midwife service sends a message to remind the patient to go to the clinic for that particular service. Meanwhile, the healthcare worker is informed when the patient becomes overdue for treatment so that they can follow up with them and reduce the number of clients defaulting for recommended healthcare. Using the data nurses have submitted to the server, MOTECH also generates many of the monthly reports that facilities are required to submit to their district and regional management offices. Previously these reports had to be compiled by hand; a process that took three to four days. Healthcare workers can also use the MOTECH Nurses’ Application to query the database , enabling them to retrieve lists of patients overdue for care, women due to deliver in the next week, or details about individual clients.

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