Use of Mobiles by Community Health Workers for Health Care Delivery.

Venkataraghavan, Manjula Use of Mobiles by Community Health Workers for Health Care Delivery. In: People, Planet, and Profit: Synergistic Leadership for Social and Communication Innovations, 2017,January 10-12, MICA,Ahemadabad. (Unpublished)

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According to a recent report from Dasra, a leading Indian strategic philanthropy foundation, for thousands of people in developing nations, the community health workers are the first and the only contact with the health system. They execute numerous functions of home visits, assessment and treatment of disease, data collection, education and counseling, and referrals for further care. This has enabled the reach of health care to millions as many developing countries including India, are currently facing a huge human resource crisis in the health sector. The density of doctors, nurses and midwives come to only about one-fourth of the benchmark set by WHO. (Rao & Ramani, 2014) which recommends ‘task shifting’ to overcome this acute shortage of health professionals. This involves shifting of the responsibilities from highly qualified health professionals to less specialized community health workers. Hence provision of several low cost, life-saving interventions such as treatment of communicable diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria and HIV/AIDS in areas of high prevalence now falls on Frontline Health Workers (FLWs) or CHWs such as ASHAs, ANMs and other informal CHWs. It’s the responsibility of these workers to ensure skilled birth attendance, immunization, promotion of breast feeding, reduction of child malnutrition, and prevention and treatment of childhood illnesses (Braun et al., 2013). However most health programs turn unsuccessful unless the CHWs are adequately supported and motivated (WHO). To enable an optimal performance from them it is important to ensure that they have the required tools, training and support structures (Tulenko, K, et al. 2013). Research indicates that mobile phones hold the potential to provide this much needed support to CHWs (Strachan et al, 2012). It helps in improving CHWs’ performance, motivation, empowerment and credibility in the community and in reducing travel, improved efficiency and planning, efficient use of time resulting in additional options for CHWs to partake in other income-generating activities (Thondoo et al., 2015; Chib et al.,2008)). This paper is based on a study to examine how this technology is being used by community health workers in the Udupi district. The methodology involved detailed interviews within a broad schedule among ASHA workers belonging to two PHCs of the Udupi district.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: mHealth , Mobile phone, community health worker, rural healthcare delivery, ICT
Subjects: Communication > MIC Manipal
Depositing User: MIC Library
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2017 14:19
Last Modified: 25 Feb 2017 14:19

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