Maternal and newborn mortality rate is very high in many low-income countries. Deaths are often caused by complications that are not properly or timely treated such as the mother begins to bleed after giving birth or the newborn is not breathing. However, it has been proved that an estimated 90% of the existing maternal and newborn deaths could be prevented with access to basic skilled care during pregnancy and childbirth. Many health workers in the periphery of the health system do not have the sufficient level of training and are difficult to reach with traditional classroom training, as they are placed in remote health stations.
The Safe Delivery App is an mHealth training tool for birth attendants in low-income countries to reduce the high maternal and newborn mortality rate caused by lack of skilled care at deliveries.
Wherever medical staff cannot undergo a full training on delivery care, the Safe Delivery App can assist health workers with animated videos, action cards, drugs information on recommended dosages and side effects and practical procedures for simple operations to handle childbirth complications such as prolonged labour, hypertension and maternal sepsis. The tool addresses all seven signal functions of Basic Emergency Obstetric and Neonatal Care based on global clinical guidelines from WHO.
The app has been developed by Maternity Foundation, University of Southern Denmark and University of Copenhagen and it has been tested in a randomized controlled trial in Ethiopia, across 78 health facilities. The results have showed that the ability of health workers to handle postnatal bleeding and to resuscitate a newborn more than doubled after 12 months of using the app.
The Safe Delivery App will be rolled out across sub-Saharan Africa in partnership with Ministries of Health and NGOs.
Beside The Safe delivery app there are other tools that can assist in delivery care, for example Totohealth allows expectant parents to receive health messages via SMS based on the stage of their pregnancy, including reminders on health clinic visits. And in Nigeria, telecommunications company Airtel teamed up with Grameen Foundation to launch the Mobile Midwife app, providing healthcare and nutritional information for pregnant women.