Malaria Consortium is delighted to announce that we have entered into a new eight month cooperative agreement worth US $1.2 million to expand our successful community-based mobile health (mHealth) system in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique. This agreement is with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) with support from UK Aid from the UK government.
The funding allows Malaria Consortium and UNICEF to support the Mozambique Ministry of Health (MoH) to build on a UNICEF-funded project called upSCALE that is presently being implemented in Inhambane Province, in the south of the country. As a result of this additional funding, upSCALE will now be expanded to include Cabo Delgado Province in the north.
Our mHealth work in Mozambique started with the Innovations at Scale for Community Access and Lasting Effects (inSCALE) project, which ran from October 2009 to March 2016. The inSCALE project developed a smartphone application in collaboration with Dimagi, introduced in six of the 12 districts in Inhambane Province through a case-control study approach. The app is designed to increase community health workers’ (CHWs) capacity to manage clinical cases better and to reinforce their connection to the wider health system and particularly to their direct supervisor. The app also provides a mechanism for them to receive recognition for what they do well and to pay attention to what remains problematic, as well as boosting their motivation and performance.
inSCALE’s success led to the creation of upSCALE, which began in February 2016. In close collaboration with UNICEF and with the leadership and strong involvement of the MoH, Malaria Consortium is supporting the expansion of the mHealth system in Inhambane. The expansion includes additional modules within the app based on the new 2014 curriculum and training materials from the MoH CHW programme, including antenatal and post-partum care, baby care, family planning and pregnancy tracking, as well as HIV and tuberculosis patient follow-up.
The integration with the MoH allows upSCALE to achieve maximum efficiency and sustainability as it works within Mozambique’s existing health structure. The emphasis of this expansion to the whole Province of Inhambane aims is on creating sustainability through knowledge sharing, capacity building and MoH ownership in anticipation of further expansion to Cabo Delgado Province.
The CHW mHealth system will grow to include all districts in Inhambane, covering a total of 282 CHWs and 92 supervisors. In October 2016, we will also start working in the remote northern province of Cabo Delgado, where upSCALE will see the mHealth system and CHW app introduced to 405 CHWs and 130 supervisors.
“Malaria Consortium welcomes the geographical expansion of upSCALE to Cabo Delgado as malaria is highly endemic in the northern region,” said Sonia Gwesela, Country Director for Mozambique. “Along with a strengthened approach in the south of Mozambique, this project can make a significant contribution to the improvement of child and maternal health in the country.”