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Free mobile app to facilitate safer childbirth in Ethiopia

Tuesday 17 November 2015, by SIGNIS

Cape Town, Brussels, November 17th, 2015 (SIGNIS/This Is Africa/ A. Chatora). A mobile app ‘Safe Delivery’ created by researchers from the University of Copenhagen and University of Southern Denmark could help facilitate safe childbirth in Ethiopia and other countries. The app ‘builds on the rapid proliferation of mobile telephony in Africa’.

Ethiopia has one of the highest rates of maternal and child mortality in the world. The app is operated by a Danish nonprofit organization, the Maternity Foundation, and it “aims to improve the quality of emergency obstetric and neonatal care and thereby strengthen health care workers skills and quality of care primarily in developing countries”.

The app gives simple instructions through a series of animated videos and graphics in local languages and English on how to deal with emergency childbirth situations. There are currently ten animated clinical instruction videos on the app which guides the user. The ten available videos include: post abortion care, hypertension, active management of third stage of labor, prolonged labor, post partum hemorrhage, manual removal of placenta, maternal sepsis, neonatal resuscitation, newborn management and infection prevention.

Reports suggest that in Ethiopia almost nine in every 10 women give birth at home after pregnancies with little or no medical support, and the development of this app could save lives.

According to Mesfin Wondafrash, the Maternity Foundation’s program manager in the Horn of Africa state, “Midwives may have skills and knowledge,” “But they may not apply the right procedures when complications arise — even simple complications”.
The app can give life saving guidelines to midwives and birth attendants, who are often traditionally educated and may lack knowledge and resources.

Maternity Foundation says the app “builds on the rapid proliferation of mobile telephony in Africa, where there are already more than 600 million mobile phone users”.

The app was developed through collaborative work of researchers from University of Copenhagen and University of Southern Denmark.

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