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Reproductive Health

CommCare for Reproductive Health

Studies have shown that when women are able to make informed decisions regarding their family planning needs, their families are more economically secure, educated, and healthy. Yet, it is estimated that worldwide there are 215 million women and girls whose FP needs are not being met (CHANGE 2012). As a result, it is estimated that there are 75 million unplanned pregnancies each year, which has negative health outcomes for women and their families.

Dimagi and partners have been working together to develop programs and technologies that increase women’s access to reproductive health care, specifically to FP and safe abortion. By using mobile applications, CHWs are better able to share sensitive messages, track FP commodities, and ensure safe and efficient follow-up of patients after procedures.

Reproductive Health Programs

Reproductive health programs often rely on difficult-to-manage paper-based records systems to track patients, commodities, appointments, and adherence to prescriptions, which can result in loss to follow-up, incomplete patient records, and out-of-date data.

  • Mobile applications enable CHWs, supervisors, and project managers to track data related to FP commodities, contraception prevalence rates, patient appointments, and pregnancies.
  • Real-time data can be used to improve programs by informing procurement of the commodities women wish to use and monitoring progress over time of unmet need within a project.

Health Workers

In many communities, reproductive health remains a sensitive topic, complicated by stigma, religion, and gender roles. CHWs may encounter difficulties in sharing appropriate information for different family members or face challenges in engaging individuals on sensitive subject matter.

  • Complex form logic enables separate messages to be given within a household so that women, their husbands, and other family members such as mothers-in-law, receive different messages from CHWs based on cultural and gender sensitivity.
  • Multimedia, such as audio and visuals, which provides for a more engaging counseling session and may help ease any discomfort around discussing sensitive topics directly with a CHW and may serve as a more authoritative voice for listeners or observers.

Health Facilities

Many health facilities experience low stock or stock-outs of FP commodities, further limiting women’s choices in contraception. Women who use contraceptive methods that require refills may experience lapses in their drug adherence due to limited supply at their local clinic.

  • CommCare Supply, Dimagi’s commodity tracking system, allows clinics to monitor their drug availability rates.
  • SMS capabilities enable clinics to report limited supply immediately, resulting in fewer stock-outs.

Patients

Women may travel many miles only to reach a clinic and learn that the contraception they desire or need is out of stock. They may also be required to travel back for follow-up appointments after certain procedures, such as abortions or IUD insertions, even when they aren’t experiencing any complications.

  • SMS notifications give women advance notice of stock-outs, so they can plan to visit another clinic or wait until commodities have been restocked before traveling.
  • SMS interactions allow CHWs to communicate across distances with their patients, so women can be reminded of appointments and prescriptions, as well as alert their CHW to any complications they may be experiencing.

HIGHLIGHTED PROJECTS

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