PBS Blog Series Explores mHealth in Africa

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By: Sarah Blake, MHTF consultant

PBS is in the midst of publishing a ten-part blog series exploring the connections between between mobile technology and health in Africa. In its latest post, the series highlights the Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action’s (MAMA) Ask MAMA Mobi, which uses a website, social networking, text messaging and a smartphone app to provide women in South Africa with information and education on healthy pregnancy, birth and newborn care. Recent posts have also featured stories about two efforts in Malawi to address issues relate to maternal health using mobile technology: a national effort supported by the Ministry of Health and John Snow International that uses a mobile tool known as “cstock” in its effort to better maintain stocks of essential health supplies;  Village Reach, which operates a hotline to respond to questions about health concerns, schedule appointments and generally improve communications and information-sharing as part of an effort to improve maternal health.

Throughout, the series highlights how various organizations are attempting to harness the recent, massive expansion of mobile phone ownership in sub-Saharan Africa in order to address persistent health challenges. In doing, blog posts underscore both the immense opportunities and promise for this sort of innovation and some of the challenges that they face in attempting to improve communication within health systems and engage the public.

To read more, visit PBS’s Rundown blog