Maternal mortality is a major priority of the Mauritanian Government and UN agencies working in the country, but the lack of information on gaps in the healthcare system makes it difficult to design targeted interventions. In a new interagency initiative supported by WHO, UNFPA, and UNICEF, the Mauritanian Ministry of Health has launched a smartphone-based Real Time Monitoring (RTM) system to capture data in health facilities. Nurses, midwives and doctors use the mobile app to record information on causes of maternal deaths as these happen.
The RTM system demonstrates the feasibility of using a low-cost solution to regularly and easily capture information on key indicators in the field. Mauritania’s 90% mobile phone penetration rate made smartphones the perfect platform for data collection: the tool is based off an open-source mobile survey app, which health professionals use to record events within 24 hours of their occurrence and to conduct a monthly drug inventory. Ministry of Health professionals can then consult key performance indicators on an interactive dashboard.
In a post on the UNDG's Silo Fighters blog, the United Nations in Mauritania has shared its process, detailing four lessons learned that will benefit similar initiatives in the future: to clearly define what information would help with decision-making; to work with content experts from the start; to find the right IT implementation partner; and to plan for the recurring cost and challenge of data collection.
Read the post on the UN Silo Fighters blog here: