Mascom launches mHealth projects
DEVELOPMENTJohn Churu, Gaborone, Botswana | 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
Tigo transforms Street Library into Ghana’s first Digital Mobile LibraryTigo Ghana has taken a giant step towards digital inclusion for children in rural Ghana by outdooring its new Mobile Digital Library. Read More
Botswana Academy of Sciences in formative stagesStakeholders in Botswana's ciences fraternity are mooting the formation of an institution that would represent their cause. Read More
New youth ICT programme from BITRIThe Botswana government, through its relevant institutions, has come up with a new youth associate ICT programme. Read More
Tigo change leader Hayford Siaw selected as 2015 Ford FellowTigo’s 2012 Change Leader Hayford Siaw has been selected to participate in this year’s Ford Fellowship programme in New York. Read More
Visa, Mastercard in strategic partnerships with AFI for financial inclusionThe Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) has signed strategic partnerships with Visa Inc. and MasterCard, to enable close collaboration and knowledge exchange within the framework of AFI’s Public-Private Dialogue Platform (PPD). Read More
Schneider Electric sponsored runner wins 2015 Paris MarathonEthiopian runner, Meseret Mengistu (26), has won the prestigious 2015 Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris women’s race in 2:23:24. Read More
M-PESA foundation opens new academyThe M-PESA Foundation has announced that it is constructing a state of the art, mixed boarding high school that will seek to provide a first class, unique education to gifted but economically disadvantaged children from all counties of Kenya. Read More
Ngombe PTA school goes paperless with computer libraryNgombe PTA School has gone paperless by converting its library into a modern computer laboratory which will improve access to modern technology. Read More
Airtel supports Mathare slum youthAirtel is ensuring that over 800 school children get hot meals every day and that 32 teachers receive their monthly salaries. Read More
ENhANCE project improves ICT education in East AfricaAalto University has launched the ENhANCE project, which has seen them team up with institutions in Ethiopia and Tanzania to provide the technical and educational support that can help address the challenges faced by these countries. Read More
FEATURED STORYe-commerce space untapped, says phonekings head
E-commerce is the future, says the head of a new online electronics mall launched in Nigeria. Tayo Olusanya spoke to Kokumo Goodie in Lagos.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHVillagers get solar training at Barefoot College
The Botswana Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) has seconded seven semi-illiterate mostly Ngwatle villagers for a six month solar electrification training course at the famed Barefoot College in India.