REDUCING CHILD MORTALITY: THE ROLE OF MOBILE ELECTRONIC HEALTH INFORMATION SYSTEM (MOBCHILD)
Millions of children under-five continues to die before their fifth birthday, with nearly six out of ten of such deaths occurring in developing countries, particularly those of sub-Saharan Africa. In Ghana, with current under five mortality rate of 60 per 1000 live births, these deaths are largely due to infectious diseases. Of note are malaria, upper respiratory infections, diarrhoeal related diseases, prematurity and asphyxia. In the meantime, caregivers lack the capacity to be able to identify and pick up early symptoms of disease and seek for timely intervention. Meanwhile, a well-functioning health system with robust health information system (HIS) could easily respond and deliver real-time data to manage most preventable childhood illnesses. In an attempt to address these information gaps, the Ghana Health Service introduced the District Health Information and Management System (DHIMS II) software in 2012.
However this system is not operational in the rural parts of Ghana because of challenges including cost, need for skilled labour, poor transportation networks, poor electricity supplies and weak centralised systems at the peripheral sites, while mobile phone use has increased almost equally in both rural and urban Ghana. With this I mind the MOBCHILD project specially aims to propose an intervention to establish a sustainable MHIS for collecting childhood health data from caregivers of children under-five and health facilities, and assess its overall impact on child health outcomes in a rural district of Ghana. Consequently, enhancing child survival with real-time feedback for decision making.