Etisalat harnesses mobile connectivity to create affordable healthcare for all
Mobile Baby mHealth initiative combating maternal mortality in Tanzania, UAE, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia
Etisalat, a leading telecommunications operator across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, demonstrated its successful and scalable mobile healthcare (mHealth) platform to telecommunications industry leaders gathered at Mobile World Congress, the global telecommunications conference held annually in Barcelona.
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The Etisalat platform – called Mobile Baby – delivers affordable primary healthcare solutions to even the remotest regions of Africa and it has already demonstrated tangible results to meet Millennium Development Goal 5 (MDG5) which seeks to reduce maternal mortality in childbirth by 75 percent and deliver universal access to reproductive health by 2015.
George Held Group Senior Director Products and Services Etisalat group , said: “We’ve developed a (mHealth) ecosystem that brings together medical healthcare professionals, pharmaceutical and insurance companies, and federal and state government to deliver affordable healthcare for all powered by mobile connectivity.
“About 358,000 women die worldwide annually from complications during pregnancy and childbirth, and most of these deaths are preventable with the access to quality care. Mobile Baby provides that care by connecting healthcare professionals to remote locations through mobile network connectivity to deliver diagnostics and treatment.”
Mobile Baby is a complete suite of services enabling birth attendants and midwives to ensure safer pregnancies and deliveries by enabling them to quickly and accurately identify, communicate and act on obstetric emergencies.
Developed in partnership with Qualcomm, D-Tree International and Great Connection, it offers pregnancy ultrasound based remote monitoring, a step by step protocol to identify and report danger signs during labour and delivery, mWallet mobile money transfer to pay for emergency transportation, and communication with emergency healthcare transfer facility to assess requirements for arrival.
Over 500 birth attendants and midwives have been fully trained on the application and over 20,000 pregnant ladies have been registered in the programme. In Tanzania where Etisalat first launched the service, there has been a 30 percent drop in baseline maternal mortality rates.
Information about the product:
The service works by the traditional birth attendant (TBA) registering her information directly on the Mobile Baby application. This includes her catchment area and contact details for drivers and health facility staff.
Through the Mobile Baby application the TBA registers mothers during their pregnancy and reports to the medical facility pregnancy status, danger signs and basic information based on guidelines from Ministry of Health, World Health Organisation (WHO) and JHPIEGO, the non-profit organization that works in developing countries to train health professionals in reproductive healthcare.
The TBA provides support to mothers-in-labour by continuously communicating with the doctor “on-call” the status of delivery, symptoms and any complications. In UAE, KSA and Nigeria, in addition to the handset based solution, a mobile ultrasound device is utilized for delivering images via MMS to doctors in the major regional hospitals
In case of complications the birth attendant contacts the driver for timely transport and alerts the health facility of the mother’s pending arrival, including any risks or danger signs. The attendant also accompanies the mother to the health facility and pays the driver for transport service using the Etisalat Commerce service. Post-partum care is also provided by taking basic information on mother and baby via the application.
Based on the successful launch of the service in Tanzania, Nigeria, UAE and KSA, Etisalat will be rolling out the Mobile Baby service across its operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Ivory Coast, Benin, Togo, Niger, Central African Republic and Gabon throughout 2012.