Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.
In order to use the technology most efficiently, our model includes: 1) Strengthening the demand for rural obstetric care by working with local change agents to improve maternal behavior in culturally sensitive ways, 2) Teaching the health center staff to use the technology in participatory trainings, and 3) Promoting health center and community ownership of the project.
First, Safe Mothers, Safe Babies (SAFE) looks for change agents who are already impacting local health. These individuals help SAFE engage communities in defining, prioritizing, and improving maternal and child health in locally sustainable ways, for example, working with civil society to write dramatizations and songs about reproductive health that they perform in their villages; each solution is designed and implemented by the community, with cursory support from SAFE.
A solar unit is simultaneously installed in the local health center, accompanied by training regarding optimal usage, care, and repair, and awareness campaigns using identified change agents. The solar unit lights deliveries, charges phones, and powers medical equipment, improving the quality of care. Our 2010 and 2011 pilot projects revealed over 100% increases in the number of health center deliveries, STD testing, and prenatal care attendance.
The final step is building a database of local, DHO-provided obstetric CME materials provided. This ensures adherence to local protocols and provides training in whatever the local language is. A low-power computer is then installed in the health center and linked to the central database.
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.
The project is lighting 22 maternal health facilities, including delivery rooms, post-partum wards, and operating theaters; and is concentrated in one region to strengthen its whole health care system. Collectively, these solar systems are lighting around 2,000 births/year. In our 4 primary facilities, there has been a 35% increase in the number of deliveries, and our district hospital has experienced a 65% decrease in maternal mortality.
By adding in the low-power computers to facilitate high-quality, easily-accessible medical education, we feel that we could improve the number of health center deliveries by an additional 20% and decrease mortality by an additional 10%.
We also anticipate building electronic data collection into the system, which would allow us to track maternal and child health indicators in real-time, and would facilitate monitoring, evaluation, and scale-up.