WASHINGTON (July 5, 2013) – Africare, a non-profit organization committed to improving the lives of people in Africa, was recently selected to compete with its innovative project proposal that addresses maternal and child mortality at the 2013 Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development Conference from July 29 until July 31 at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C.
Africare will propose its “Collaborative Community Based Technology To Improve Maternal and Child Health in Senegal” model that integrates community based support services with mobile and telemedicine platforms to increase the demand for and access to high quality maternal and neonatal services for women living in remote areas of Senegal, a country known for its high maternal and infant mortality rates.
“In places like Kedougou, Senegal, women have to be carried down the mountainside to give birth,” says Dr. Nene Diallo, Director of the Office of Health, HIV & AIDS at Africare. “Africare takes a holistic approach to accessing health care by addressing human realities like these.”
With its proposal, Africare will bring prenatal care services closer to 303,920 women in rural Senegal, allowing for early detection of potential problems and quick referrals to centers equipped to manage emergency obstetric care. Africare will also partner with Dimagi to build a mobile “mHealth” system to support timely data collection by community health workers, and with the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) to use an innovative telemedicine platform, which provides distance training and technical assistance to community health workers to treat and refer cases as necessary.
“The innovative work that we’re proposing in Senegal means that with the help of community support groups, a mobile platform of health records and telemedicine equipment, women in rural Senegal can reduce maternal and neonatal mortality. A woman in mountainous Kedougou can attend prenatal visits, receive treatment for complications and give birth more safely. It’s as simple as that,” says Dr. Diallo.
Saving Lives at Birth is a partnership that includes the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Government of Norway, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada (funded by the Government of Canada), and the U.K’s Department for International Development (DFID) and aims to invest in groundbreaking and sustainable projects with the potential to accelerate substantial progress against maternal and newborn deaths and stillbirths at the community level.
The DevelopmentXChange Marketplace will take place at the Ronald Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., and is open to the public on Wednesday, July 27 from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m.
Members of the public can also vote for their favorite innovations through the People’s Choice Award from now until 11 a.m. on July 31. To vote for Africare’s “Collaborative Community Based Technology to Improve Maternal and Child Health in Senegal” in the People’s Choice Award at the Saving Lives at Birth Innovators Conference, please visit here.
Africare is a leading non-governmental organization (NGO) committed to addressing African development and policy issues by working in partnership with African people to build sustainable, healthy and productive communities. Since 1970, Africare has provided well over $1 billion of assistance and support through more than 2,500 projects in Agriculture & Food Security; Water, Sanitation & Hygiene; Women’s Empowerment; and Health, HIV & AIDS that have impacted millions of beneficiaries in 36 countries in Africa. Visit www.africare.org for more information.
Dimagi is a social enterprise that brings deep experience in ICT for data collection, communication, data analytics, capacity strengthening, and open source software development. Dimagi is a leader in creating scalable health ICT solutions for developing countries. For more information about CommCare, please visit www.commcarehq.org and www.dimagi.com.
About African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF)
AMREF is an international African organization headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. AMREF has over 54 years’ experience in health development. In 1957, three surgeons founded the Flying Doctors Service of East Africa, laying the foundation for what is now one of the continent’s leading health development and research organizations. Today, AMREF implements its projects through country programs in Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Senegal, South Sudan and South Africa. Training and consulting support are provided to an additional 30 African countries. For more information, please visit www.amref.org.
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