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Posts Tagged ‘mobile technologies’

Supported by the MacArthur Foundation, the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP) and Maternova are partnering on a project aiming to increase access to skilled birth attendants and emergency obstetric care for women in Chiapas, Mexico—through the use of mobile technologies for health (mHealth).

From an email announcement I received from ARHP on Tuesday (5/11):

“All of us who care deeply about reproductive health have been closely following the conflicting data from The Lancet and the WHO on maternal mortality rates.

Regardless of the direction of global rates, we know that women in remote areas of Mexico are facing incredible challenges in giving birth safely. Patients lack a comprehensive clearinghouse directing them to local clinics or differentiating levels of care available at facilities.

With generous support from the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, ARHP and Maternova have partnered on a pilot mobile health (mHealth) initiative in Chiapas, Mexico. We are pleased to be on the leading edge of the mHealth movement, which aims to leverage the growing worldwide popularity of mobile devices to provide critical health services.

This project will create an interactive maternal health mapping tool, allowing women to find skilled providers by geographic area quickly and easily. This SmartMap will be accessible from any web-enabled device and provide detailed information about the quality and types of services offered in each clinic listed. In an emergency obstetric situation, the ability to find skilled attendants and well-equipped facilities via mobile phone can make the difference between life and death.

We are just beginning to work with our partners, Development Seed and the Comite Promotor por una Maternidad sin Riesgos (Committee for the Promotion of Safe Motherhood), on this pilot project identifying and mapping facilities in Chiapas. We are looking forward to launching the populated map by the end of 2010 and to the possibility of future stages of the project, which would make the map accessible via text message.

Get involved in this cutting-edge, lifesaving initiative:

  • Reach out to Aleya Horn at ARHP and let us know if you or your colleagues work in Chiapas, Mexico
  • Provide local contacts for collaboration or local clinics for the map
  • Make a donation to support this critical partnership and help us expand the pilot project to other underserved areas in Mexico and around the world”

Be sure to check out the Maternova blog–that highlights all sorts of innovations in maternal and neonatal health.

Posts I found especially interesting:

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Strengthening Health Outcomes through the Private Sector (SHOPS) and mHealth Alliance are holding a free online conference this Wednesday (May 5th) to discuss how mobile technologies can improve family planning and maternal and newborn health services in developing countries.

The conference will include live discussions with mHealth leaders on a variety of topics including strengthening community health workers; open source trends and implications; and gender, phones and reproductive health. The themes of the three panel discussions will be mHealth interventions along the continuum of care, mHealth applications addressing different stakeholder needs, and cross-cutting mHealth issues.

Click here to view the conference schedule and to register as a participant.

Click here for a March 13 post on this conference with additional background information.

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Tom Watson, author of  CauseWired: Plugging In, Getting Involved, Changing the World, writes about ten technologies, both high and low tech, that are empowering women across the developing world—and several have the potential to directly improve maternal health.

The Daily Beast

Among the technologies Watson writes about are safe birthing kits with soap, a plastic sheet, a razor blade and string (pretty low-tech!); E-Learning to train and certify 20,000 nurses in Kenya by 2011; and text messaging/social networking platforms for communities to discuss and push for change on issues like female genital cutting and early marriage.

Read the full story, Technologies that Empower Women.

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A March 6th, 2010 post on Global Health Ideas provides info on an upcoming e-conference on the use of mobile technologies to improve family planning and maternal and newborn health services in developing countries.

Global Health Ideas

Online Conference May 5, 2010

“The United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Strengthening Health Outcomes through the Private Sector (SHOPS) Project is launching an annual eConference to advance private sector innovations in the sustainable provision and use of quality family planning/reproductive health and other health information products and services. The theme of the 20l0 eConference is mHealth which is the use of mobile technology to improve health program effectiveness and efficiency.

The SHOPS Proiect and the mHealth Alliance invite you to submit an abstract by March 17, 2010 to present at this online conference which will focus on how mobile technologies can improve family planning, maternal and newborn services in the developing world…”

For more info, read the full post, USAID, mHealth Alliance Online Conference May 5th, 2010, on Global Health Ideas. 

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