Addressing the Fourth Delay: Improving community-based accountability for MNH
We seek to address a critical fourth delay that sustains high rates of maternal and neonatal mortality in western Kenya: the delay in a community’s accountability to its mothers and infants. We will develop an innovative information technology that fosters rapid communication and feedback between mothers, their communities, and their healthcare providers: the Mother-Baby Health Network. This information platform will accomplish three primary objectives: (1) Facilitate home and group-based care through Community Health Workers (CHWs) to improve collective advocacy; (2) Provide communities with the capabilities to activate an emergency alert system; and (3) Foster transparency in community and health system responsiveness to maternal and newborn health. CHWs will be equipped to use clinical decision-support on Android phones to correctly triage women and newborns for care. Integrated with SMS messaging, they will be capable of notifying healthcare providers, alerting nearby GPS-tracked Mother-Baby Taxis in an emergency transport system, and activating a personalized community of Mother-Baby Advocates to mobilize local resources. The Mother-Baby Health Network will strengthen dialogue between communities and facilities to create a sustainable, community-driven demand for accountable maternal and newborn care at all levels of care. Recognizing that ‘it takes a village’, the Mother-Baby Health Network will provide communities in western Kenya with the information and communication tools they need to ensure that every mother and child has access to essential care at time of delivery and within the first 48 hours of birth.