mHealth for Safer Deliveries
We provide a mobile phone based algorithm to assist midwives to quickly and accurately identify obstetric emergencies and arrange transportation for the pregnant woman to a health facility where she can receive appropriate care. This tool includes (1) a step by step protocol to identify danger signs during labor and delivery; (2) phone number of vehicle owners who can transport patient on emergency basis; (3) money on phone to pay vehicle owner for transportation; (4) record of permissions needed from family or local decision makers to transport mother and infant in case of emergency; and (5) the ability to contact the referral facility indicating emergency transfer so they can be prepared for arrival.
What is creative about this idea is the combination of mobile decision support, data storage, on-line banking and communications on a single device at the point of care to improve maternal health outcomes. Most mHealth applications focus on one of these elements but in the case of maternal health it is the combination that has the potential to save lives. This request for seed funds is to scale up our existing intervention to additional sites in Zanzibar. We have developed a pilot program with 23 Traditional Birth Attendants in 2 districts and have seen facility deliveries increase from 30% to 70% during this pilot period. We will add another 30 birth attendants in 15 new villages, which we expect will extend our reach to over 2,000 pregnant women over the 2 years of the project.