mHMtaani: US-Supported Program Empowers Community Health Workers Through Mobile Technology

Community Health Workers and Mobile Health

This blog is cross-posted and can also be read on the Frontline Health Workers Coalition website* and on the Gates Foundation's Impatient Optimists.

In places like the Deep Sea Slum of Nairobi, Kenya, the dangers associated with pregnancy and child birth are not to be taken lightly.

Maternal mortality still claims far too many lives and quality maternal health services are not universally available or accessible to expectant mothers.

That's where community health workers like Elizabeth Mueni come in.

A Pathfinder-trained frontline health worker working in Nairobi, Elizabeth conducts regular home visits to 40 households throughout her community—all with the help of a mobile phone. She’s part of a new initiative called “mHMtaani,” or “mobile health for our communities.

Through the USAID-funded APHIAplus project and support from Dimagi, Inc., mHMtaani aims to equip up to 3,000 community health workers like Elizabeth with mobile phones to support maternal and child health goals in Kenya’s Nairobi and Coast provinces. Each mobile phone includes a maternal and child health application, or ‘app,’ hosted by the CommCare software platform.

For Elizabeth, the app is a powerful case management tool that helps her with many of her duties, including registering clients, keeping track of their prenatal care visits, and counseling on the importance of delivery in a facility. The app also helps her calculate and track the due dates of expectant mothers like Miriam Nduku.

It can cost as little as $300 to train a community health worker, and these workers in turn form the backbone of the health system – serving thousands of individuals who live in communities beyond the reach of hospitals and clinics.

Elizabeth met Miriam long before she became a community health worker in the Deep Sea Slum. The two were more than just provider and patient—they became fast friends.

Elizabeth worked closely with Miriam throughout her third pregnancy, tracking her due date and providing counseling on pregnancy danger signs. And when the time came, Elizabeth made sure Miriam was transported to the APHIAplus-supported Westlands Health Centre where she received the care needed to safely deliver her new son, Richard.

Elizabeth is an excellent example of why training frontline health workers is not only a smart investment, but an essential to achieving the global health goals of the United States and partner countries. It can cost as little as $300 to train a community health worker, and these workers in turn form the backbone of the health system—serving thousands of individuals who live in communities beyond the reach of hospitals and clinics.

Frontline health workers play a powerful role in their community, a role that someone from the outside would be hard pressed to fill. As natives of the communities in which they work, these providers foster trust and build relationships with their clients with a greater understanding and respect for local tradition and values.

And with the possibilities created by mobile health programs, community health workers are able to impact their communities in an even bigger way. In addition to urban communities like Elizabeth’s, Pathfinder also works in remote, rural communities, where one of the key barriers to accessing reproductive health is distance from a health facility. With the help of community health workers, our work goes further. When women like Elizabeth are well-trained and equipped with mobile phone case management apps, they can provide lifesaving counseling, information, and linkages services to underserved populations in the most remote villages whose needs might not otherwise be met.

Time and time again, we see that frontline health workers are the first and most effective line of defense in communities facing high maternal mortality rates and in communities where there is a high unmet need for contraception.

Many of these workers are volunteers and are given only a small stipend to cover their travels costs. But with the tremendous value they represent to communities—likely saving millions of lives each year—these workers deserve to be fairly compensated for the time spent away from their families and other, income-generating work. Providing adequate compensation also means workers have incentive to dedicate more time to the communities they serve when they might otherwise be focused on the necessity of earning an income elsewhere.

That’s why we are thrilled to be working with partners like Visa and NetHope in Kenya, who recently selected Pathfinder for a Visa Innovation Grant, helping us to introduce a mobile payroll for community health workers in Kenya. The project will implement a pay-for-performance scheme, whereby data collected through the mobile phone application will be linked to mPesa, a mobile money service, to deliver performance-based payments to community health workers via their mobile phone. The project aims to improve the transparency and the quality of services delivered, while recognizing worker performance. It is hoped that this, in turn, will lead to better health outcomes for the clients that community health workers serve.

Time and time again, we see that frontline health workers are the first and most effective line of defense in communities facing high maternal mortality rates and in communities where there is a high unmet need for contraception. By equipping them with tools to perform their jobs better, including mobile phones, they can continue to play a crucial role in delivering community-based interventions necessary for achieving universal sexual and reproductive health care.

*The Frontline Health Workers Coalition is an alliance of United States-based organizations, of which Pathfinder is a member. The coalition works together to urge U.S. investment in frontline health workers in developing countries as a cost-effective way to save lives and foster a healthier, safer and more prosperous world.

Jonathan J. Rucks

Jonathan J. Rucks is Pathfinder International's Director of Advocacy.

Leave a Comment

* Change

Comments

Nicely presented information in this post, I prefer to read this kind of stuff. The quality of content is fine and the conclusion is good. Thanks for the pos view it on rebelmouse
alex July 28, 2014
Really liked this article. Very clear and so many interesting information. I will click this web again.
Chris Brockman July 28, 2014
Most of the time I don’t make comments on websites, but I'd like to say that this article really forced me to do so. bulk sms
bulksmsbase.com July 28, 2014
Political equality; they may not have been so far ahead of their time that they envisioned what it has come to mean for many of us today..the venus factor system
the venus factor system July 27, 2014
Nicely presented information in this post, I prefer to read this kind of stuff. The quality of content is fine and the conclusion is good. Thanks for the post.blender recipes
blender recipes July 27, 2014
i like what your blog stands for. this is my first time and here and I am pleased that i was able to find such an excellent resource for travel information. i have bookmarked your site and will be back to what new blog posts you create moving forward. keep up the good work and i look forward to returning to this site in the near future.best epilator
best epilator July 27, 2014
Hi, I'm so excited that I have found this your post because I have been searching for some information about it almost three hours. You helped me a lot indeed and reading this your article I have found many new and useful information about this subject. Thanks for sharing thisbest work boots
best work boots July 27, 2014
clash of clans a game site for all of you that is totally free.. how to hack clash of clans
pooja July 25, 2014
"Maternal mortality still claims far too many lives and quality maternal health services are not universally available or accessible to expectant mothers".. So efforts should be intensive to reduce maternal mortality rate. Good post..bulk sms
Matico July 25, 2014
Easily, the article is actually the best topic on this registry related issue. I fit in with your conclusions and will eagerly look forward to your next updates. Just saying thanks will not just be sufficient, for the fantasti c lucidity in your writing. I will instantly grab your rss feed to stay informed of any updates. storage units
jhonalex July 24, 2014
The app also helps her calculate and track the due dates of expectant mothers like Miriam Nduku.pay advance loan
pay advance loan July 23, 2014
If you want to get maillot de foot pas cher 2014 taken seriously, get your blog’s look and feel as far away from “default” as you can- if your maillot de foot 2014 pas cher are weak but your layout shows that you take your blog seriously, brands will see you as a blogger with promise and be more likely to make maillot de foot 2014 pas cher exceptions if you’re a bit smaller or newer than they’d like.
supra pas cher July 19, 2014
anda ada masalah tentang kesehatan kecantikan seperti : bentuk tubuh, masalah diet, atau masalah wajah yang berupa jerawat, komedo, kulit keriput, dan lain- lain. tenang saja masalah kecantikan ada semua di web site berikut health beauty | Amazing Health Article | Read More | Click Here |
The guarantee you will be satisfied with the services of the web site
ridhoboyz July 18, 2014
Easily, the article is actually the best topic on this registry related issue. I fit in with your conclusions and will eagerly look forward to your next updates. Just saying thanks will not just be sufficient, for the fantasti c lucidity in your writing. I will instantly grab your rss feed to stay informed of any updates. local seo tips
calvinbrock735 July 18, 2014
Rav switches up the michael kors with the michael kors of his visvim FBT michael kors-michael kors from 2005, the michael kors features the tory burch released michael kors Free tory burch coach factory,coach outlet,coach factory outlet,coach outlet store online,coach outlet online,coach outlet store online,coach handbags,coach factory outlet,coach factory,coach outlet store online,coach factory outlet,coach factory,coach outlet online,coach outlet,coach factory,coach factory,coach outlet,coach factory outlet,coach factory outlet,coach outlet,coach outlet store online,coach factory,coach factory outlet,coach outlet store online,coach factory outlet,coach factory outlet online,coach outlet,coach factory outlet,coach outlet,coach factory outlet online,coach factory outlet,coach outlet online,coach outlet store online,coach outlet,coach factory,coach outlet store online,coach factory outlet,coach outlet,coach factory outlet,coach factory,coach factory outlet,coach outlet online,coach outlet,tory burch,michael kors outlet,michael kors outlet,michael kors outlet,michael kors outlet store,michael kors,michael kors outlet,michael kors outlet,michael kors outlet online,michael kors outlet online,michael kors,michael kors outlet online,michael kors outlet,louis vuitton handbags,louis vuitton outlet,louis vuitton outlet,louis vuitton outlet,louis vuitton,louis vuitton outlet,louis vuitton,abercrombie and fitch,abercrombie & fitch,abercrombie & fitch,fitflop uk,fitflops,tiffany jewelry,coach factory outlet,coach outlet store online coach US mama was all smiles as she true religioned off her fitflops belly. In true Snooki oakley,Ever since I discovered Katharine tiffany on Instagram, I have been dying for a pair of her fitflops. Her equestrian designs are coach by her years as a hunter jumper rider. I love the white top true religion and simple thong designs. I also should mention how wonderful these fitflops feel on the foot-the footbeds are padded and shaped to mould to your feet. ray ban sunglasses,oakley sunglasses cheap,cheap oakley sunglasses,oakley sunglasses outlet,cheap ray ban sunglasses,oakley sunglasses,oakley sunglasses,tory burch shoes,true religion outlet,timberland outlet,prada handbags,prada outlet,true religion jeans,celine handbags,fitflop fitflops,true religion jeans,fitflop uk,tory burch outlet,valentino,tiffany and co jewelery,timberland shoes,tory burch,true religion jeans outlet,true religion outlet,prada handbags,fitflops,prada outlet,timberland boots,tiffany jewelry,abercrombie and fitch,air jordan,celine outlet,toms shoes,cheap toms,true religion,fitflop shoes,supra shoes,isabel marant shoes,timberland,celine outlet,ralph lauren,toms shoes,isabel marant, cheap jordans,marc jacobs,Polo ralph lauren,tiffany and co,coach factory outlet online Katharine tiffany fitflops are the best I've ever had! I carry huge bag on a daily basis and it's kind of nice to take a true religion from that.sweet Jesus! She just keeps getting sexier and sexier, eh? Damn right! Enjoy!Food motifs and photo print apparel have been hot tory burch, so we've found you a few coach on sale (rather than true religioning you an outfit coach by endlessly rotating lukewarm hot dogs).
coach factory outlet July 18, 2014
The 2010 Honda Civic is basically unchanged from last year's model. With a well built interior, available coupe body style, good fuel economy, and a wide variety of power trains buyers are sure to find something that fits their lifestyle. civic sports
Name July 17, 2014
Summit NJ Real Estate is not only a wise investment, but a great opportunity to be involved in the growth of a thriving city in northwestern New Jersey. creative education summit
Name July 17, 2014
I don't understand this, and I wouldn't be so arrogant as to even try - not unless I choose to participate in that kind of journalism, which I have no intention of doing. Quite simply, it's not my calling. ormiston education
Name July 17, 2014
When it comes to finding the right infertility counselor it can be tough but as soon as you find the correct person you will feel very energized and excited of all the new things you have learned. counseling education
Name July 17, 2014
Home Based Businesses and Network Marketing are two of the hottest trends in the market place today. In order to achieve success in both, a person must have desire, belief and know you deserve to be successful. capital business net work
Name July 17, 2014
Scroll to top