MobiKlinic eHealth Initiative
One-line solution summary.
Empowering community health professionals with skills and a digital tool to provide health services in last mile rural areas.
What is your solution?
The solution utilizes a fusion of physical and digital interventions. Community health professionals (CHPs) empowered through training on maternal & child health, recognition of suspected cases of epidemic prone diseases, treatment of some diseases and health education. They are then deployed into the community with the MobiKlinic mobile application to provide door to door health services to women and other patients in rural communities. Through the application CHPs are able to record patient data, request assistance from distant physicians in case patients present with complicated cases and request for ambulances that facilitate referrals to health centers that we collaborate with. The storage of patient data by the digital tool comes in handy in situations such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. MobiKlinic is much needed in during this pandemic to bring health services safely to people’s door steps
What specific problem are you trying to solve?
According to the World Economic Forum 3.5 billion people live in last mile areas and face difficulty in accessing healthcare. Of these, 500 million are found in Africa. In Uganda, 8 in 10 people live in last mile villages and peri urban areas of the country. Many of these people have to walk distances of over 12 km to reach the nearest health center, a journey that takes 2 hours on average. Pregnant women in these communities find themselves greatly affected. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic access to health services in these areas has become more difficult. Movement restrictions and health workforce overwhelmed by the increasing number of COVID-19 patients among other factors have led to reduction in accessing health services such as antenatal care, HIV, malaria and vaccination. The vulnerable in the population such as pregnant women find themselves greatly affected.
Who does your solution serve? In what ways will the solution impact their lives?
MobiKlinic has been providing door to door health services in rural communities of Buikwe district in Central Uganda since 2019. Our target population has been mainly women of reproductive age (15-49 years). Men and children have also benefited from our services. Before the roll out of services, consultations were made with select village health teams (VHTs) and women within the communities to determine community health needs. It is through such meetings that we established that people particularly pregnant women experienced great difficulty in accessing health services due to long distances (average of 12 km) from health centers, a journey that takes on average 2 hours. Other challenges included drug stock outs in government health facilities, health worker absenteeism hence poor service delivery. The MobiKlinic initiative was therefore established to ensure that rural communities in the district have access to the basic health services that they need as well as an integrated referral systems where patients can be referred to health centers that we collaborate with.
What steps have you taken to understand the needs of the population you want to serve?
A needs assessment was carried out in rural communities of Buikwe district and health challenges faced by the community members included long distance to health centers as well as drug stock outs in government facilities. Focus group discussions were held with village health team members, community members, as well as some health center representatives and the idea of training village health team members to provide door to door health services was discussed agreed upon. Village health team members were enrolled and trained on key health issues and were as well trained on the usage of the MobiKlinic android application which they got to interface with and provide necessary feedback to further better the application.
Which aspects of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?
Improving healthcare access and health outcomes; and reducing and ultimately eliminating health disparities (Health)
Our solution's stage of development:Growth: An organization with an established product, service, or business model rolled out in at least one community, which is poised for further growth
Explain why you selected this stage of development for your solution—in other words, what have you accomplished to date?
We are in the growth stage of our solution. In Buikwe district we currently operate in the Parishes of Kiyindi, Tukulu and Kinoni. A total of 50 community health professionals have been trained thus far. 6000 people have benefited from our services of which 67% have been female. We are therefore in a position where we plan to improve on our digital tool and replicate our services to other communities.
Where our solution team is headquartered or located:Kampala, Uganda
Andrew Ddembe (Founder and CEO MobiKlinic)
Which of the following categories best describes your solution?A new use of an existing technology (e.g. application to a new problem or in a new location)
Describe the core technology that powers your solution.
The MobiKlinic application is an android based application installed on a CHPs tablet. Once our community health professional (CHP) comes into contact with a patient, the CHP will note down patient data including patient symptoms and treatment administered into the mobile application. Patient confidentiality is ensured in that random numbers are assigned to a patient in the application. If a patient presents symptoms that a CHP is unable to treat, the CHP can contact a distant physician through the application and obtain assistance. In turn, an ambulance can be requested for through the application which will transport the patient to a health center that we collaborate with.
Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:
In which countries do you currently operate?
How many people does your solution currently serve, and how many do you plan to serve in the next year? If you haven’t yet launched your solution, tell us how many people you plan to serve in the next year.
Current number being served – 6000
Number to be served in a year – 10,000
Number to be served in 5 years – 60,000
What are your impact goals for the next year, and how will you achieve them?
Through replication of our model, we envision to increase our reach not only in other parts of Uganda but other countries in Sub Saharan Africa in the next five to ten years. In the coming year, we can reach a total of 100,000 women in the district whom will benefit from antenatal services, immunization, family planning, treatment of communicable and non-communicable diseases. To achieve all this, more community health professionals will be trained and equipped with our digital tool. They will then be deployed in other communities which are not yet under our reach. These will ensure that the populations they serve receive the services that they need. This empowered team shall ensure continuity of services even in the face of pandemics to come.
How are you measuring your progress or planning to measure your progress toward your impact goals?
Number of community health professionals (CHPs) trained and equipped with the digital tool.
Number of virtual doctors recruited.
Percentage of CHPs who consult physicians through the application.
Referrals made by CHPs.
Number of pregnant women managed for communicable diseases through our Digital Maternal Health Program.
Number of pregnant women managed for non-communicable diseases through our Digital Maternal Health Program.
Number of pregnant women who have safely given birth through our Digital Maternal Health Program.
What barriers currently exist for you to accomplish your goals in the next year?
Barriers to our solution include the financial barrier which has hindered the scaling up of activities to other communities, poor internet network in rural areas and proper patient identification and low adoption in newer areas.
How many people work on your solution team?
How long have you been working on your solution?
How are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?
The core MobiKlinic administration comprises of 2 public health professionals, 3 doctors, a lawyer, software developer and 2 accountants. Our founder and CEO largely grew up in a rural community in Uganda and has experienced difficulty in accessing healthcare firsthand. This greatly motivated him to start the MobiKlinic initiative with the vision of revolutionizing access to healthcare. All team members in their different backgrounds are united by this vision and complement each other and tirelessly work together to ensure that this vision is attained.
What organizations do you currently partner with, if any? How are you working with them?
Our partners are
Clarke’s International University who provide assistance in training community health professionals, research and organization and delivery of services during health camps.
Apar foundation a humanitarian organization that provides medical supplies that community health professionals use to provide health services in the rural communities.
Recently we are working on a partnership with Simprints who will incorporate biometric technology to our mobile application.
Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for The HP Girls Save the World Prize? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.No
If you selected Yes, explain how you are qualified for this prize. How will your team use The HP Girls Save the World Prize to advance your solution?
Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for The Pozen Social Innovation Prize? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.Yes
If you selected Yes, explain how you are qualified for this prize. How will your team use The Pozen Social Innovation Prize to advance your solution?
Women who are in reproductive age including the pregnant women in rural areas are among the people who benefit from our solution. Being aware of the fact that women have to move ling distances to reach a health center we train community health professionals and matters of maternal and child health. These community health professionals then offer health services to women in rural communities of Buikwe district. In instances where a woman requires a referral, our community health professionals can request for an ambulance through our android application and thus a pregnant woman can be transported to a health center that we collaborate with. This helps improve the health and well-being of women in rural communities. The $80,000 would be used to enroll and train 20 community health professionals and equip them with the necessary tools (android application containing the MobiKlinic application and medical supplies) thus having our health services breaking out into other rural communities.