September 14, 2016

Maternity Foundation and The Royal Danish Embassy host event on mobile health in Kenya

On Tuesday August 30th 2016, the Danish Royal Embassy in Nairobi and Maternity Foundation convened cross-sector partners working to reduce maternal and newborn mortality in Kenya to discuss to the need, potential, and impact of existing and new mHealth interventions for maternal and newborn health in Kenya, including Maternity Foundation’s Safe Delivery App.

Danish Ambassador to Kenya, Mette Knudsen, welcomed guests and panelists, and Dr. Patrick Amoth, Head of Division of Family Health at the Kenyan Ministry of Health addressed attendees with reflections on progress and remaining work to be done in maternal, newborn health in Kenya.

The panel discussion began with Anna Frellsen, CEO Maternity Foundation, who shared the creation of the Safe Delivery App, promising evidence from the randomized control trial of the app in Ethiopia, and plans for the future to implement and scale-up the app through partnerships and integration into existing programs and systems.

Diana Mukami, eHealth Programme Manager of AMREF Kenya, gave an overview of AMREF’s ground-breaking work in e- and m-Health and learning. She shared how skilled birth attendants are using the Safe Delivery App in the Samburu Region in the Uzazi Salema Initiative as part of their BEmONC training.

Dr. Charles Ameh, Senior Clinical Manager and Deputy Head, Centre of Maternal and Newborn Health at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), shared preliminary results from baseline surveys conducted in Sierra Leone, Kenya and Nigeria on the availability and use of smart phones among skilled birth attendants. Key takeaways from Dr. Ameh’s initial findings include the majority of skilled birth attendants – 74% have smart phones, 98% are interested in the SDA, and most use their smart phones for purposes that indicate they would easily utilize a learning application. Dr. Ameh also revealed a number of potential barriers of downloading and utilizing the App, which LSTM in partnership with Maternity Foundation with systematically work to address in future implementations.

Finally, Prof Dr. Marleen Temmerman, Director, Centre of Excellence Women and Child Health, Aga Khan University East-Africa presented on the transition from the MDGs to the SDGs, the progress made and the work that remains to be done to achieve the new goals to reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births and end preventable deaths of newborns, with all countries aiming to reduce neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 per 1,000 live births by 2030. She highlighted the need to focus on scaling up access to contraceptive services, safe abortion and preventing stillbirth, and emphasized the need to high quality pre-service training.

The panel discussion concluded with excellent input and questions, and a networking reception.

Photo: Dr. Charles Ameh, Senior Clinical Manager and Deputy Head, Centre of Maternal and Newborn Health Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Anna Frellsen, CEO Maternity Foundation and Dr. Patrick Amoth, Head Division of Family Health Ministry of Health Kenya.