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Apps saves mothers in developing countries


Maternity - S.Phelps UNHCR CC BY

25 August 2014 - A new app helps health workers in developing countries handle difficult births in remote areas.

Within a couple of years there will be more mobile subscriptions than people on earth. The mobile phone has a huge potential to help improve public health in developing countries, where public healthcare systems are fragile. Those who will benefit the most are the 289,000 women that die each year if they don’t receive birth help.

The Danish development organization Maternity Foundation, which aims to bring down child- and birth mortality in developing countries, has therefore made ‘The Safe Delivery App’ in cooperation with Copenhagen University and the University of Southern Denmark. It is designed to train health workers in both normal and complicated births.

The app contains a number of animated instruction videos, which informs mothers of what they have to do in specific situations. Moreover, the app can be used to train health workers in remote areas, where there is often an acute demand for competent labor.

“We often experience that newly educated midwives don’t have any practical experience when they get employed. Unfortunately, that can have fatal consequences for both the mother and the child,” says Ida Marie Boas from Maternity Foundation.

Ida Marie Boas was in charge of implementing the app in a research project in Ethiopia, where people were very positive towards the new application.

“Many of the health workers, who use the app, are a lot more confident when it comes to dealing with complicated births. They are especially fond of the visual and concrete films, which can be used no matter what language you speak. It is also an advantage that you don’t have to be a good reader to understand them.”

The final research results and the full app will be ready sometime in 2015. Maternity Foundation and its university partners will initially make the app free to use for other NGOs, governments and organizations. The Maternity Foundation has already reached a deal with Red Cross, which will use the app in their health program.

Danish source: Verdens beste nyheder


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