Nigeria: Smartphone technology to help tackle child mortality in conflict areas

15 December 2016
Nigeria: Smartphone technology to help tackle child mortality in conflict areas

Abuja (ICRC) – Health care workers in Nigeria can now use smartphones and tablets to improve the quality of diagnoses and drug prescriptions for children under five thanks to an initiative from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) and Adamawa state Primary Health Care Agency.

The project will be piloted by medical workers in ICRC-supported primary health care facilities in Adamawa state. It aims to improve the performance of health care workers by providing standardized procedures for the management of common medical issues.

"This new smartphone-age tool could become an essential and valuable part of ensuring a successful medical diagnosis and treatment plan for children in Nigeria," said Dr. Hashemi Said Padshah, who coordinates the ICRC's health activities in Nigeria.

Developed by Swiss TPH, the ALgorithm for the MANAgement of CHildhood illnesses (ALMANACH) is an upgraded electronic version of the IMCI (Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses), an initiative that focuses both on curative care and the prevention of disease.

"Given the ICRC's work in war-torn countries, we have seen that a lack of appropriately trained health workers and diagnostic tools harms the quality of health care delivered to children under five years. Thanks to the use of ALMANACH, health workers can better diagnose diseases and prescribe appropriate medication," Padshah added.

ALMANACH is also a data collection tool that can provide epidemiological surveillance information and lead to improved standards for the management of common diseases in Nigeria.

Today's launch of the initiative in Yola, the capital of Adamawa state, was attended by the Adamawa state Honorable Commissioner of Health Dr. Fatima Atiku Abubakar, and Executive Chairman of Adamawa State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Abdulahi Belel, who have approved the use of ALMANACH and who helped to ensure that it is tailored to local conditions.

The ICRC has been supporting seven primary health care centers in Adamawa state since 2015 through the rehabilitation of damaged infrastructure, supply of equipment and drugs, as well as training for health workers.

For interview requests and enquiries please contact
Aleksandra Matijevic Mosimann, on +234 706 418 90 02 or +234 703 595 41 68

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