A Danish app, The Safe Delivery App, has been launched in Ghana to combat infant mortality. According to the Embassy of Denmark, 30,000 infants lose their lives every year due to complications related to birth or pregnancies in the country.
The free smartphone application, developed by the University of Copenhagen, University of Southern Denmark and Maternity Foundation, provides immediate access to evidence-based information on basic emergency obstetric and neonatal care.
“The application downloads content whenever your phone is connected to the internet, so that people will be able to access the information even in parts of Ghana where internet connection is unstable,” notes the Embassy of Denmark in a statement.
According to the Embassy, the idea to utilise mobile phone technology in the health sector is nothing new, but the demand and more importantly the effect of this technology has increased dramatically in later years. “A decade ago only 1/5 people in the world had access to a mobile device, but in 2017 around half the world’s population has access to one.”
Given that Africa is the second-largest market for mobile phones, the Maternity Foundation says it hopes to leverage mobile technology to ensure safe births in rural Africa.
The Maternity Foundation says the Safe Delivery App, launched in 2010, is currently being used in over 20 African countries including Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia, South Africa and Morocco and already has over 26000 downloads. It is currently being implemented in partnerships with NGOs, Midwives associations and governments in countries across Africa and South East Asia, with a goal is to reach 10,000 health workers before the end of 2017.
“Every year, around 300,000 women and 5 million new-borns die of causes related to childbirth. 99 % of these deaths happen in low- and middle-income countries.
Anna Cecilia Frellsen, CEO of Maternity Foundation says, “There is not always a trained midwife in the village and maybe not even a nurse.” She adds that such instances could even lead to death as hospitals are hours away.