From left: Dr. Cleopha Mailu, Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Health of Kenya; Robert Kelty, Executive Director of Amref Health Africa; Bob Collymore, CEO of Safaricom (Photo: Amref Health Africa)
October 5, 2016 – As part of the annual - and final – Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) meetings held in New York in late September, Amref Health Africa hosted a side meeting focused on mobile phone technology in Africa and training community health workers. The meeting was timely, given the release of the report by the United Nations’ High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth, which made a strong case to invest in health workers to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
Bob Collymore, CEO of Safaricom Limited and Dr. Cleopha Mailu, Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Health, Kenya, led the conversation with partners such as Accenture, and other leading health organizations.
“We’re committed to working with partners from all sectors towards making critical healthcare more accessible to more Africans,” said Collymore. “And, we’re proud to partner with Amref Health Africa to reach people who need these services the most.”
Frasia Karua, Business Development Manager of Amref Health Africa (HQ) facilitating the discussion (Photo: Amref Health Africa)
Diana Mukami, eHealth Program Manager for Amref Health Africa, spoke to the technical aspects of training community health workers using mobile health technology. Covering a wide variety of topics, from maternal health to managing chronic illnesses such as asthma, Amref Health Africa’s Leap platform is literally available right at a health worker’s fingertips.
“Mobile technology is revolutionizing the way community health workers reach more people, faster, across Africa,” said Diana Mukami, eHealth Program Manager for Amref Health Africa. “Five or six years ago, it was hard to imagine just how much a simple mobile phone could change the way patients receive care and treatment, or how community health workers are trained. Our Leap platform is revolutionizing the way healthcare systems are being strengthened across sub-Saharan Africa, one community at a time.”
Financial inclusion, partnerships, and expanding Leap – an already successful mobile health platform – were key items on the agenda.
Diana Mukami, Program Manager, Amref Health Africa (HQ) explains how Leap works to train community health workers. (Photo: Amref Health Africa)
“The power of partnerships in making essential health services more accessible and should not be underestimated,” said Dr. Frasia Karua, Business Development Manager, Amref Health Africa. “Leap is a scalable, interactive mobile learning solution, designed in Africa, for Africa. We’re looking forward to continuing the conversation we had during CGI and to training more health workers through Leap.”
Amref Health Africa’s Leap platform, geared towards community health workers, provides virtual learning on any mobile phone device, with on-demand access to essential information, tools and services. It offers health workers continuous training, direct access to supervisors and real-time medical information using SMS technology, enabling more health workers to be trained, even in remote and nomadic areas.
“The diversity of organizations present at the table last week is a reflection of the deep need and desire to invest in, and partner for, better outcomes in health,” said Collymore.
“We have an ambitious vision to reach one million frontline health workers across Africa,” says Mukami. “We know that with the right partnerships and commitment, that vision is achievable.”