Vital Pakistan Trust: Saving lives by reducing neonatal mortality in Pakistan
Technology | Design
Vital is dedicated to reducing the neonatal mortality rate in impoverished peri-urban communities through an integrated service delivery model that captures the actual impact backed by first hand-collected datasets.
Vital partnered with VentureDive to develop an android tablet application to achieve its purpose. The tablet would enable real-time data collection, that will ensure the traceability of neonatal cases.
Over the last four years, by developing the comprehensive service delivery model in Rohri Goth (outskirts of Karachi), Vital managed to reduce neonatal mortality by 53% and under 5 mortalities by 48%.
seizing the opportunity
Reducing neonatal mortality by giving healthcare workers access to robust digital data
Neonatal mortality is a devastating challenge the world of healthcare has to face every day. According to WHO, the Neonatal Mortality Rate (NMR) of Pakistan is 46 deaths per 1000 live births. The CDC reports that about 33 percent of infant deaths happen during the “post-neonatal” time – between 27 days and 11 months old. This occurs significantly in cases involving Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), a concerning matter that gravely requires concerted actions to reduce neonatal mortality in Pakistan.
Effective outreach and care delivery are contingent on accurate data. Therefore, getting baseline data and helping healthcare systems understand the size and scope of infant mortality is key. Currently, data resides on paper. The Vital project aims to digitize all that data to help in quick decision making, provide quality care, and eventually save the lives of mothers and children. Digitization of the data can aid healthcare workers to track the affectees closely, streamline responses, and make informed data-driven decisions. However, there are a number of hurdles in data collection and storage:
- Rapidly growing population growth due to rural-urban migration coupled with social behaviors and cultural norms makes it difficult to collect accurate data on live births, deaths, the number of pregnant women in the community, and the correct addresses of households.
- Social behaviors and cultural norms in the community are a barrier for accurate data collection. There are women who still prefer to deliver at home and avoid seeing a doctor when their child is ill. The reluctance of women to share accurate data leads to misreporting and hindrance in capturing the true scale.
- Paper data storage limits the access and potential outputs it can provide to efficiently monitor the NMR as it takes more space, is difficult to store, search, and use.
- The soaring reach and infiltration of healthcare workers into larger communities have posed hurdles in keeping the data centralized.
CREATING THE SOLUTION
Integrating the data into one intuitive app
The vital team reached out to VentureDive in November with an existing app having limited functionality. They knew the limitations they were facing and communicated the advancement they wanted on the existing app to broaden the functionality. After a series of meetings with our dedicated core team consisting of a project manager, QA expert, designer, architect, android engineer, and a backend engineer, an agreement was reached on how we’ll approach the development and design to pull off an optimal platform. Vital aims to develop a technology platform to propel the processes in a more efficient manner. The idea is to facilitate their professional healthcare workforce coordination, identification, investment, and support and enable them to provide high-quality & sustainable healthcare services. It allows its users to document and share information, to help them make informed decisions.
As their technology partner, VentureDive began the development of an android tablet application that connects with Open SRP. Open Smart Register Platform is an open-source mobile health platform that allows frontline healthcare workers to electronically register and track the health of their entire client population.
Using mHealth best practices, i.e. automated reminders and reporting, decision support, and multimedia counseling, OpenSRP builds on existing robust mobile technologies to deliver a powerful and dependable application for frontline health workers. It empowers them to more effectively deliver and account for the care they provide to their clients.
Our main focus was to deliver a platform that covers the complete 1,000-day journey of a mother and child. We wanted to make it user-friendly for the 10 main user teams of the Vital’s platform that interact with it. The platform is categorized into 6 modules captured in the figure below:
CELEBRATING THE SUCCESS
Riding the success wave
The application is going to be live in 5 sub-urban communities of Karachi, with a total population of 0.3-0.5 million.
decrease in neonatal mortalities
reduction in under-5 mortalities
This data is from December 2019