Improving maternal health with mobile technology


 CES health worker field tests the app with a patient 

“Rural Chiapas [Mexico] might appear to be an unlikely place for mHealth initiatives to gain traction – with one person in four unable to read, and little cell phone reception or internet connectivity in the mountains, it would seem that accessing understandable information through mobile technology would be a challenge for health workers and patients alike. Yet the community health workers of Compañeros en Salud (CES) have found unexpected ways to make innovations in mobile health technologies work for them and strengthen their programs.” (Hesperian, Nov 2014)

http://hesperian.org/2014/11/14/chiapas-health-workers-improve-maternal-health-with-mhealth/

Electricity microgrids

PowerGen's "PowerBox" comprises 1.4kW of solar panels, 9kWh of batteries and a 3kW inverter. It supplies power to 14 clients in Nkoilale, Kenya, all of whom pay for the electricity via mobile phones. Photo by David Sengeh.

PowerGen’s “PowerBox” comprises 1.4kW of solar panels, 9kWh of batteries and a 3kW inverter. It supplies power to 14 clients in Nkoilale, Kenya, all of whom pay for the electricity via mobile phones. Photo by David Sengeh. (Ideas/TED.com)

This concept of power microgrids could be relevant to many Pacific communities.
http://ideas.ted.com/2015/01/15/how-to-build-a-real-energy-revolution-in-africa/

Magazine innovation

School children at Leo Hitu Primary School read their copies of CARE educational magazine, Lafaek in Bobonaro, Timor-Leste. Image: Jane Dempster/CARE

School children at Leo Hitu Primary School read their copies of CARE educational magazine, Lafaek in Bobonaro, Timor-Leste. Image: Jane Dempster/CARE

Timor-Leste’s Lafaek magazines act as both a children’s magazine and curricular supplement, instructing teachers how to use materials to teach in the classroom

AUT University’s Pacific Media Centre – Te Amokura – reports on this innovative idea:

http://www.pmc.aut.ac.nz/pacific-media-watch/region-social-justice-issues-breathe-new-life-magazine-industry-9087

Medecins sans frontieres in PNG tackling TB

The tuberculosis (TB) prevalence in Papua New Guinea (PNG) is among the highest in the world, 541 cases/100,000 population/year, with some pockets reported to be three times higher, prompting Médecins Sans Frontières to respond and reach the most affected communities.
http://www.msf.org.au/from-the-field/field-news/field-news/article/innovating-to-reach-remote-tb-patients-and-improve-access-to-treatment-in-papua-new-guinea.html

Small island developing states outlook

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http://reliefweb.int/report/world/global-environment-outlook-small-island-developing-states-outlook

Facing rising sea levels, increasingly frequent natural disasters, major waste and pollution challenges and weakening family structures, Small Island Developing States (SIDS) around the globe require a fresh round of innovative solutions, ranging from economic diversification to island-based technological and cultural innovation to regional and global policy initiatives, according to a new Global Environment Outlook report released by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) today.

Where Women Have No Doctor: A health guide for women

This is available from the Hesperian Health Wiki, free of charge
http://en.hesperian.org/hhg/Where_Women_Have_No_Doctor

‘Around the world, millions of women live in rural or urban areas ‘where there is no doctor’ or where health care is not affordable. Many women suffer and die needlessly because they lack access to health care and clear, useful information about their health.

‘This book is written for these women, and for anyone interested in improving women’s health. Using simple language and hundreds of pictures, it provides information about a wide range of women’s health problems. We hope that everyone—girls, women, and health workers—will find it useful, even life-saving. Our goal is to provide this information to as many women as possible, in as many places as possible. ‘ (Hesperian website)

Revolutionary medicine

In the Garifuna community of Ciriboya, Honduras, the average life expectancy is 52 years. Children still die of diarrhea and respiratory illnesses, and adults from treatable conditions such as appendicitis, because to reach the nearest hospital is a 10-hour walk.

Or at least, that’s how it used to be.
Revolutionary Medicine1

The documentary film, Revolutionary Medicine: A Story of the First Garifuna Hospital, shows the project to build a free, preventive health care system in Ciriboya. The hospital–the first established in a Garifuna community since they arrived in Honduras 215 years ago–offers an alternative to the increasingly privatized national health system. Built and defended by the communities it serves, and led by the inspirational Dr. Luther Castillo, the project has become a symbol of Garifuna self-determination.

Filmmakers Beth Geglia and Jesse Freeston depict the Garifuna struggle against exclusion, discrimination, and land dispossession; highlight the role of the health center as a site of education, empowerment, dignity, and improved health; and critique medical systems that succeed primarily by excluding those who most need care.
Visit the website and watch the trailer to learn more. (Hesperian 2014)