Empowering Community Health Workers with Technology Solutions
Brianna Buehler, Rene Ruggiero, and Khanjan Mehta
IEEE Technology & Society Magazine
Buehler, B., Ruggiero, R., Mehta, K., IEEE Technology & Society Magazine, Vol 32, No. 1, pp 44-52, “Empowering Community Health Workers with Technology Solutions“, 2013
Empowering community health workers (CHW) with appropriate technologies can address primary healthcare needs in developing countries. CHWs visit each family in their geographic area once a month, and in the case of finding someone sick, the CHW refers the patient to the nearest health facility. The Kenyan Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation’s Division of Immunization has initiated a new system that uses cell phone technology to track vaccine stocks at various district stores. The system, known as Healthtrack, enables users to manage and automatically update vaccine stock information through their cell phones. The government of Brazil partnered with Nokia in 2008, to launch Mobisus, a cellphone-based program to help Brazilian health workers effectively collect health data including immunizations, oral health, nutrition, and maternal and child health. The power of trust and social capital in developing communities must be harnessed to ensure that the CHWs are able to work harmoniously in their communities.