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Maternal and Newborn Health

CommCare for Maternal and Newborn Health

Over the course of the past two decades, inspiring progress has been made in improving the health outcomes of women and their newborns.

Of Dimagi’s extensive experience across a wide range of sectors, we have worked with more MNH projects than in any other sector, including 58 projects globally that use CommCare to support CHWs working directly with mothers and their children. These 58 projects have equipped over 4,000 CHWs with CommCare in countries including Bangladesh, Benin, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Ghana, India, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nepal, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. With CommCare, CHWs are able to do their work more efficiently by supplementing or eliminating the need for paper records and providing them with a job aid that supports counseling, decision-making, and referrals for emergencies.

Maternal and Newborn Health Programs

Many maternal and newborn health programs are built on a foundation that relies heavily on access to clinics or hospitals, particularly when it comes to referrals for high-risk patients, burdening CHWs who often encounter difficulties in identifying emergency symptoms and working within inadequate and complex referral systems.

  • Forms enable CHWs to use standardized, complex workflows to identify symptoms in mothers and newborns that require emergency care.
  • Case sharing enables CHWs to immediately send medical information directly to clinicians at the referral facility and improve lines of communication between field and clinical work

Health Workers

CHWs undergo extensive trainings, which require them to retain large amounts of information, which is frequently forgotten after a short time. Additionally, CHWs often have to track their own patients and submit that data to managers with little organizational support. This process often leads to lack of follow-up with patients and inadequate data collection systems.

  • Training manuals and behavior change communication materials are integrated within the app on a CHW’s phone, ensuring easy access to accurate information.
  • Multimedia allows pregnant women and mothers to listen to messages in their own language or view culturally relevant visuals alongside their CHW.
  • Real time submission of data directly from the CHW’s phone enables managers and supervisors to access data on health outcomes and CHW performance with up to date records.
  • Case management gives CHWs autonomy to manage their own case list directly through the mobile application, rather than relying on their memories or paper records systems when it comes to reaching patients.

Health Facilities

Health facilities often have limited supplies or face stock-outs of essential medicines for pregnant and postpartum women and their newborns. Many facilities rely on paper records systems, which can be difficult to maintain.

  • SMS interactions enable central medical warehouses and clinics to distribute medicines based on need and availability.
  • SMS interactions enable reporting of stock-outs before they occur.
  • Electronic data reduces error by streamlining complex stock algorithms previously recorded on paper.
  • Real time information dissemination prevents unavailable medicines from being prescribed.

Women and Newborns

In many countries, women are required to keep track of their own paper medical records, which can be lost or damaged. In many cases, if a woman forgets or loses her medical records the facility staff will refuse to see her or her baby. Additionally, women may lose track of time between ANC or PNC appointments.

  • Mobile applications eliminate the need for paper medical records by storing medical information for each woman and newborn registered through the application.
  • Case management allows women and newborns to rely on their CHW to recall the details of their medical histories.
  • SMS reminders enable women to be notified about upcoming appointments without requiring CHW prompting.

HIGHLIGHTED PROJECTS

CASE STUDIES

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