Hope through Heath (HTH) is a US-based charity working through a local partner, AED-Lidaw, in Togo since 2004. HTH and AED-Lidaw have been working since 2004 on a community-led healthcare system, part of which involves working with a number of Community Health Workers (CHWs). They work in five different healthcare centres primarily with HIV/AIDS patients. One of the challenges that AED-Lidaw’s CHWs have faced has been the ability to track patients, record data about them and ensure follow-ups are conducted at the appropriate time. It’s a problem familiar to medical administrators and practitioners the world over – missed appointments, low treatment adherence rates, missing patient records…
To improve the effectiveness of their CHW work, Indigo has provided HTH with a grant of $24,366 to partner with Dimagi, a tech social enterprise that has developed the widely used CommCare mobile platform. The platform can be used to track patients, record data and improve decision-making by medical practitioners in low-resource settings. Indigo’s grant will enable HTH to train 15 CHWs to use the system. The project consists of the following elements:
- Collection of baseline data.
- Development and adaptation of the CommCare platform for the Togolese context.
- Development of prompts and audio-visual messages, based on existing training materials used by the CHWs.
- Tailoring the data collection tool to suit local needs. This would replace the paper records currently collected by CHWs and would allow for real-time data transfer and download to Excel.
- Purchase of 15 Nokia phones and training for CHWs in using them and the CommCare platform. Refresher training would be held on a monthly basis.
The CommCare platform is currently being used by dozens of organisations across the globe – everywhere from Malawi to Mexico, Nicaragua to Zambia. If successful, the pilot could serve as an example to other parts of Togo or indeed other countries. We look forward to seeing how the work develops over the coming weeks and months and will keep you updated on how things go.
From our perspective it’s great to see this sort of project going on in Togo – a country we have not previously funded in and it will hopefully provide plenty of lessons for us, HTH and others keen to learn how technology can complement health work. For more information on the CommCare platform, please click the image below.