Mascom launches mHealth projects
DEVELOPMENTBy BiztechAfrica - July 23, 2012, 11:48 a.m.
By John Churu, Gaborone, Botswana
Mascom will this week launch far-reaching mHealth projects in Botswana.
Mascom has been collaborating with PING (Positive Innovation for the Next Generation) to improve the quality and efficiency of disease surveillance in Botswana through mobile health monitoring technology.
The initiative enables health workers to more efficiently predict, observe, and minimise the harm caused by outbreak situations, advancing the country toward its goal of malaria elimination. PING, supported in part by the US Government's PEPFAR programme, is undertaking several mobile health projects in Botswana and shares Mascom’s goal of supporting the Ministry of Health in the fight against HIV/AIDS and other ailments and in promoting the general health of the population.
New initiatives by Mascom include ‘The kgakololo Project’ which is a project developed by PING as an SMS-based support, reminder and information system for patients. The pilot project was first launched in March 2010 (SMS reminders for HIV-patients). The system provides patients with medication and doctor appointment reminders, feedback to questions and assistance in emergency situations via SMS and a toll free phone number.
A follow-up project is the Safe Male Circumcision Project, which came with the success of the Kgakololo Project. PING is extending the service to Safe Male Circumcision (SMC) clients in which males who opt into the Government SMC outreach project are also given SMS-based support. Each patient will receive SMS’s, which include reminders for follow up appointments and supportive messaging during the healing process.
On the list of initiatives to be unpacked by Mascom is the Disease Surveillance and Mapping Project. This programme equips healthcare workers in Botswana with HP Palm Pre 2 smart phones to collect malaria data, notify the Ministry of Health about an outbreak, and tag both data and disease surveillance information with a GPS coordinate. This data will contribute to a first-ever geographic map of disease transmission in the country, enabling faster response times and better measurement of malaria cases to monitor treatment and scale-up net coverage. The program’s pilot phase was the largest mobile health pilot program in Botswana, running throughout the malaria season. Future programs will expand to all outbreak-prone diseases in the region.
Mobile technology provided by Mascom will drastically improve malaria surveillance, by speeding data collection and generating more context-aware information. The project will allow for:
a) Data analysis in the cloud: The system enables healthcare workers to collect data via a Web application on a mobile device, upload the data over the mobile network, and analyse and share the data in the cloud. Through this system, analysis now takes hours rather than weeks to complete.
b) Rapid outbreak notification: When an outbreak is detected, healthcare workers can immediately upload specific case and location information from their mobile device in the field. All health officers in the area and members of the Ministry of Health then receive a text message alerting them of the outbreak, enabling rapid deployment of preventative measures to reduce disease transmission.
MORE DEVELOPMENT NEWS
Malawi encourages girls to embark on ICT careersMalawi, through the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA), has expressed its commitment to involving girls in the ICT sector. Read More
ICT skills to take on gender digital divideWomen in Senegal are starting to look to ICT to close the digital divide between themselves and their families. Read More
African Philanthropy Forum launchedA new global forum has been launched to promote inclusive development in Africa. Read More
Teaching ICT to Senegal’s kidsThe need for ICT skills has become so apparent that even Senegal’s older generation is prepared to break the bank to give kids access. Read More
Shoppers donate $6.26m to entrepreneursOver 226,000 micro entrepreneurs will benefit from an online and in-store fundraising drive in the US. Read More
Moaning over rural-urban schools digital divide in AfricaSenegal teachers report that the digital divide between rural and urban schools is so frustrating that some teachers in the rural areas are thinking of relocating to urban areas to apply for teaching posts. Read More
Safaricom Foundation hands over maternal health facilitiesResidents of Muiru will no longer have to travel 12km for maternal and child care services following the construction of a new mother and child wing at Kambandi Dispensary, with the help of Safaricom Foundation. Read More
Clean energy contest seeks West African entrepreneursA West Africa Forum for Clean Energy Financing competition is open for regional entrepreneurs to unlock renewable energy and energy efficiency investments in West Africa. Read More
Africa’s technology addictionAfrica is ready for a growth explosion– if it has the right technology in place, says Rutendo Hwindingwi. Read More
FEATURED STORYICT opens doors for Kenyan slum dwellers
A Nairobi based group is equipping high school girls from Nairobi's slums with ICT skills to help them participate meaningfully in building the economy.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHDollar-a-month broadband can change Africa
The Microsoft-led 4Afrika TV white spaces project, taking broadband to rural people for as little as a dollar a month, is now expanding in Kenya and launching in Tanzania.
COMPANY NEWSSamsung puts the spotlight on enterprise solutions
Samsung Electronics South Africa has announced its support of the upcoming Enterprise Mobility Forum.Sage Pastel Evolution: the modern ERP tool for the modern Kenyan business
This week’s Sage East Africa Conference, entitled Innovation Beyond Boundaries, attracted over 100 existing and potential customers to the Sankara Hotel in Nairobi.Connected services boosts company payroll and HR administration in West Africa
Connected Services enables SMEs to extend their desktop payroll and HR with an online solution that eases the growing burden of HR managers and payroll administrators.