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Ghana to grow mobile health programmes

Ghana’s Health Service aims to extend its mobile phone-based health services.

Following successful pilots in the Upper East Region, the Ghana Health Service says it believes mobile-based solutions can play an important role in healthcare delivery across the country.

The Mobile Technology for Community Health (MoTeCH) project was piloted in the Kassena-Nankana East and West District of the Upper East Region.

It is run in partnership with the US-based Grameen Foundation, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health, the Grameen Foundation, and the Navrongo Health Research Centre of the Ghana Health Service.

Grameen Foundation said recently it was seeking support to expand the MoTeCH initiative to two new districts in a transition plan towards national scale-up. It said the programme would reach approximately 14,000 pregnant women and 46,000 children under five over the two-year implementation.

MoTeCH uses basic handsets and a versatile platform - OpenMRS, an open source medical record system as the basis of the medical records management. It has added “rules engine” and other components to process both inbound and outbound text and voice messages. By using an OpenSource development model, MoTeCH hopes to share its resources with other organizations who can adapt it to their own needs and contribute to its future expansion.

The “Mobile Midwife” application enables pregnant women and their families to receive SMS or voice messages that provide time-specific information about their pregnancy each week in their own language. This information is a mixture of: Alerts and reminders for care seeking.

The Nurses’ application helps community health workers to record and track the care delivered to patients in their area.

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