Friday, June 21, 2013

Intro to mHealth

‘One of the greatest things about being in a foreign place is it seems to mock my incessant inner dialogue. 
“Am I doing a good job at work?” 
“Shut up, you’re in Africa.”
“Why won’t he message me back?”
“Shut up there is a woman  in front of you carrying 3x her weight on her head.”

The past few days have been hard work.  I’ve been in and out of conference rooms.  Had meetings at the Ministry of Health.  Waking up early and staying up late for US time zone conference calls.  Because this is not so sexy compared to the rest of my blog, let take this opportunity to tell you about my field of mHealth.

Once upon a time a bunch of scientists were frustrated that basic health necessities were not reaching those in need.  Were frustrated that there is 1 physician for every thousand people in many lower and middle income countries.  And yet, despite not having essential vaccines, Coca-Cola and Samsung made their way to the most rural parts of the world. I saw this in Bangladesh.  Men without limbs scooting around drinking a Coke.  Women with starving children, talking on cell phones.

These smart scientists got together and decided to use this corporate phenomenon to improve access to improved health care.  Check out this site if you would like more information:

Which brings me to my work here in Tanzania.  I’m working to help facilities prevention mother to child transmission of HIV by using mobile phones to consolidate all patient information onto one database, help remind mothers to take their ART and to come into visits, and to make sure infant HIV status gets to the mothers quickly so the infant can get treatment as soon as possible.

We’re implementing a trial with 10 health care facilities in rural Tanzania for 6 months.  I’m here now to get all the partners together, draw up contracts, and to get the project off the ground.

I’m like a sexier, corporate, Indiana Jones.  With cell phones as my lasso and contract agreements as my safari hat.


1 comment:

  1. You are so smart and also you need to dress as Indiana Jones for halloween this year