After extensive studies of the Bangladeshi Rural Advancement Committee’s (BRAC) health services for mothers, neonates and children in rural and urban areas (MNCH and Manoshi, respectively), ClickDiagnostics has developed a mobile phone-based solution for streamlining BRAC’s data collection procedures in Manoshi, enabling BRAC to take a more pro-active approach in reaching women in urban slums.
ClickDiagnostics proposed a simple and yet powerful mechanism for data collection, which would eliminate most, if not all, of the bottlenecks faced by the Manoshi programme. Under this system, health workers (Shastho Karmi-SK) are equipped with a mobile-based data collection software which enables them to collect vital patient information in a simple one-by-one question format with multiple choice answers. The data is viewable on a secure web page where the doctor is able to provide feedback based on the patient’s information directly to the SK’s mobile phone. An automated risk assessment algorithm analyzes each patient’s data and categorize the patient into a risk category based on predefined criteria. Based on pre-set rules, the server can also generate automatic alerts to different tiers of the Manoshi personnel. The system also generates automatic work schedules for SKs, prioritizing higher risk patients.
Supervisors are able to monitor the data sent by SKs cumulatively and individually in an intuitive but powerful graphical reporting and monitoring tool. SMS alerts are generated to supervisors for workers missing their daily/weekly/monthly targets. In this way, it is hoped that the system will become more efficient.
The pilot has covered all areas of the Manoshi programme, including Maternal, Neonatal and Child health. Nine SKs in 3 branches of Dhaka comprised the pilot intervention area, covering 18,000 households and approximately 2,000 pregnant women. Initial reviews of the pilot program have shown some positive results. The mobile equipped health workers were able to identify 86% of all pregnancies in the selected areas, 81% of which were provided with ante natal care and 80% received post natal care on at least three occasions. In an attempt to increase delivery attended by specially trained personnel, several delivery centres or birthing huts were established. Approximately 44% of the pregnant women identified by the programme used the BRAC Delivery Centres.