Research

Saving Children’s Lives Using mHealth to Improve Treatment, Reporting, Monitoring and Supply Management for Acute Malnutrition

Mobile device-based (mHealth) apps can improve the ability of frontline health workers to deliver effective treatment, supply chain management and reporting. Between 2013 and 2016, World Vision, Save the Children and International Medical Corps (IMC) collaborated in the development and pilot of an mHealth app to improve CMAM treatment, reporting, monitoring and supply management in Afghanistan, Chad, Kenya, Mali and Niger. The pilot involved a public-private partnership with a software company, Dimagi. Overall, ministry engagement was good, although project continuity remains a challenge. Problems that significantly impacted rollout plans included security issues limiting on-site training and technical support; complexities in contextualising country protocols; software bugs; and power and network coverage difficulties. With time, practice and support, health workers accepted the app and report many benefits for quality case management, although its use remains more time-consuming than the paper-based system. Several priorities have been identified for future rollout, scale-up and integration with national information systems and child health platforms. Simplified CMAM protocols and addition of the reporting feature would save time. An impact evaluation of the Kenya programme is due this year.

Start Date:2014

End Date:2016

Partners: World Vision
Save the Children
Chad Ministry of Health

Donors: United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Publications: Field Exchange - Emergency Nutrition Network