How it Works
Given long distances, poor roads, and paper-based and incomplete record-keeping, it can take weeks for health officials to receive information on outbreaks of disease. As a result, treatment is delayed and, in the case of contagious diseases, many others become ill.
In one of Medic Mobile’s first efforts to improve communication between community health workers and healthcare facilities, we provided mobile phones to 75 health workers in the area served by St. Gabriel’s.
The health workers used them to send and receive text messages regarding symptoms, referrals for treatment, medications and adherence, updates on patients’ health, and emergency situations.
You have a picture of what happened in all of the facilities that you’re monitoring. Something that could take you one month to analyze can actually be done in a single day.
-- Augustus Lugo, Acting District Disease Surveillance Coordinator, Kilifi County
At St. Gabriel's in Malawi, a key outcome was that the community health workers were able to double the number of people who were found to have symptoms of tuberculosis and who were referred for treatment. In addition, traveling health specialists were able to identify 130 patients needing immediate attention for other illnesses as a result of accurate emergency calls.
Over the six months of this trial, 1,330 messages were sent, saving hospital staff over 2,048 hours of follow-up time and $3,000 in fuel.