County: Nairobi (Kamukunji)

Project Title: Using a Decision-Support Smartphone Application to enhance Community Health Volunteers’ effectiveness in reducing Maternal complications and Newborn deaths in the informal settlements of Nairobi, Kenya – a pilot study

In Kamukunji, as in other slum settlements, mothers and newborns do not have access to the healthcare services they need to survive. They rely heavily on the services of Community Health Volunteers (CHVs), who have minimal training. CHVs are trained over a five-day period, then conduct weekly home visits to counsel, treat, and refer their clients. The decisions they make are based on what they remember from their brief training, as well as what is available in their manuals. This is a cumbersome and unreliable decision-making process in a situation where the right decision often means life, and the wrong decision, death.

APHRC will develop a mobile phone application, Jamii Smart®, which will enable CHVs to identify risks facing pregnant women, new mothers and newborns, and to make timely and correct decisions on referral for cases that need intervention. The Jamii Smart® mobile application will enable the CHVs to transmit the information of referred patients in real-time to the health facilities, so that they can prepare to receive the patient and to inform the CHV in case the patient does not report to the facility.

Supporting CHVs as they treat and counsel their clients will build confidence, encouraging more women to attend their four scheduled ANC visits. It will save the lives of pregnant mothers and of newborns, as timely referral to health facilities will result in more skilled attended deliveries and prompt treatment of complications.

APHRC will implement the project in collaboration with Safaricom Foundation, and the Health Management Team of Kamukunji sub-County, Nairobi County.