Removing barriers to timely essential maternal and newborn services: Scaling-up mCARE and mTIKA as part of the Digital Bangladesh National HIS Initiative

Organization: 
Johns Hopkins University
Organization Location: 
Baltimore, Maryland

Over the past decade, the discordant proliferation of mhealth innovations have led to calls for improvements in the evidence base to scale-up promising strategies.  In response, our group has developed collaborations with the Government of Bangladesh and local social enterprise company mPower-Health to develop, deploy and measure the impact of responsive, user-centered ICT solutions targeting obstacles to coverage of efficacious interventions.  Two solutions, mCARE and mTIKA, have targeted the optimization of antenatal and postpartum care, and routine early life immunizations, respectively, focusing on removing obstacles to quality delivery at scale.  Chronic constraints include a lack of systematic processes for enumeration and surveillance, absence of reminders to workers and clients when services are due (or overdue), and poor coordination between supervisors, workers and the clients. Many challenges stem from reliance on paper-based systems, driven by indicator-collection needs, not on optimizing services. We aim to integrate and scale-up these two evidence-based pilot programs under the stewardship of the Government of Bangladesh and local partners, using the WHO-led open source digital platform Open Smart Register Platform (OpenSRP).  This project will develop the blueprint for rapid scale-up nationwide, covering training at the grassroots and supervisory levels, technical integration with a national shared health record, and data use protocols for decision-making.

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