mHealth in Tanzania: Improving Delivery & Quality of Community Home-Based Care

November 6, 2013 • Family Planning, Reproductive Health, News

mHealth in Tanzania: Improving Delivery & Quality of Community Home-Based Care

Pathfinder’s mHealth work in Tanzania began in 2008 with funding from the Centers for Disease Control. This project, housed under the Tutunzane project, uses mobile technology to improve communication and reporting between health clinics, home-based care providers, and clients. In collaboration with D-Tree International, Pathfinder and its Tutunzane partners are using a mobile phone-based application, CommCare, to improve HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and family planning services offered at the community level.

Community home-based care providers use mobile phones to provide better care during home visits, to follow referrals, and to improve client data management and use. Each month, CommCare sends a short message service (SMS) or text message summary of community home-based care activities to the home-based care providers’ supervisors. District level coordinators access the collected data online, which further improves communication and information-sharing between community-based providers, facility providers, and district coordinators. There are currently more than 300 home-based care providers in and around Dar Es Salaam using this mobile phone application.

In addition, Pathfinder worked in collaboration with FHI360 and D-Tree International to develop the content for a family planning application based on the Balanced Counseling Strategy Plus approach to guide home-based care providers through client counseling. A rigorous research study is currently being conducted by FHI360 comparing the mobile phone application to traditional counseling tools.

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