In Myanmar, at least 1,900 pregnant women and 53,000 children under the age of five die annually, largely from preventable causes. The government of Myanmar has committed itself to achieving the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by 2030. Despite improved coverage of health service interventions in some areas in Myanmar, quality of care remains a concern and further progress toward reducing maternal, newborn, and child mortality will need to factor in quality of care improvement activities.
In Myanmar, midwives are the first line of skilled care for pregnant women/mothers, newborns, and children in the community. Improvement in reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health (RMNCH) outcomes relies upon the ability of midwives to correctly counsel, provide service, follow-up, and refer urgent cases to higher levels of care. In settings where midwives and community health workers are families’ first contact with the health system, mHealth solutions have been shown to be a promising means to improving provider-client interactions.
Under the UNICEF-funded Myanmar RMNCH Quality of Care Project, JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc. (JSI) and its partner Dimagi, Inc. worked in partnership with UNICEF to contribute to improved quality of RMNCH care delivered by midwives working in rural and sub-rural health centers in the country. The JSI/Dimagi team supported the Myanmar Ministry of Health (MOH), UNICEF, and other partners to customize and deploy CommCare, an open source mobile platform that supports frontline workers in low-resource communities. During the program, Midwives used CommCare to track and support their clients in a range of services, including antenatal care, labor and delivery, essential newborn care, family planning, infant and child care, routine immunization, and nutrition.
From September 2015 to September 2017, the RMNCH-QOC project successfully developed and adapted RMNCH and disease control modules in CommCare for use by midwives in Myanmar’s rural areas. The application was tested by midwives in three selected townships: Ayeyarwady, Magway, and Sagaing regions. Lessons from the project will inform the MOHS’ future application of information communication technology (ICT), with the option to build on the developed application.
Meet a JSI staff member who worked to ensure CommCare could be customized to meet midwives needs.