child health

Pesinet: Mobile Monitoring and Micro-Insurance for Children in Mali

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Dec 19, 2011

Mali has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world. There are roughly 111 deaths for every 1000 live births in the country and the under-5 mortality rate is 191 out of every 1000 children. The need for early detection of diseases and stronger local health structures led to the creation of Pesinet, a non-profit that uses mobile technology to provide regular health checkups and affordable health insurance for young children in Mali's capital, Bamako.

Roughly 600 children are currently enrolled in the program in the neighborhood of Bamako Coura, under the care of four Pesinet agents (each covering around 150 children). Pesinet combines both early warning systems and insurance. Families pay 500 CF a month for each enrolled child; the payments cover doctor examinations and half the cost of any medications the child needs if he or she gets sick.

Enrolled children are tested weekly for symptoms of illness such as fever, cough, diarrhea, low weight, or vomiting by community health workers who enter data from each visit into a custom-designed Java application on their phone.  The data is sent via GPRS to an online database. Doctors at local community health centers monitor the patient data for sudden changes in health. If changes occur, the community health workers receive an alert on their phones and then go back, in turn, to alert the family that the doctor needs to give the child a checkup.

Pesinet: Mobile Monitoring and Micro-Insurance for Children in Mali data sheet 1295 Views
Countries: Mali

Pesinet: Mobile Tech and Micro-Insurance for Child Health in Mali

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Jul 10, 2010
Pesinet: Mobile Tech and Micro-Insurance for Child Health in Mali data sheet 4984 Views

Healthcare agents in Bamako Coura, Mali, are providing better care to children with the help of mobile phones. Healthcare agents with Pesinet, a non-profit organization based in Mali, perform weekly checkups on children and then send the results to a doctor for evaluation through a Java application.

Anne Roos-Weil, founder of Pesinet, says: 

In Sub-Sahara Africa you have a very, very high child mortality rate. […] In Mali, where our project is based, one child out of five dies before the age of five. What we realized is that they’re mostly dying because they don’t go to the doctor or the healthcare center early enough.

Basic Information
Organization involved in the project?: 
Project goals: 

The goals of Pesinet are:

  • To prevent child mortality from benign diseases through regular home screenings
  • To create an insurance plan so that health problems do not bankrupt families


Brief description of the project: 

Pesinet is a mobile healthcare service currently deployed in Bamako Coura, Mali. Parents sign up for a healthcare worker to visit their children weekly for a regular checkup. The agents collect data via mobile phone, and send it to a doctor at a healthcare center, who reviews the information for changes. The parents pay the equivalent of one Euro a month, which covers visits to the doctor in case of emergency, and provides half-price medication in case the child needs medical care. 

Target audience: 

The target audience is parents of children under five in Bamako, Mali (for the current pilot; later it will expand to all parents of children under five who live in areas with high under-5 mortality rates in Mali). 


Detailed Information
Length of Project (in months) : 
What worked well? : 

In a survey conducted by the Malian Ministry of Health, 96% of the mothers enrolled in the program reported satisfaction with Pesinet, 99% wished to recommend the service to family and friends, and 97% of the families found the service to be "very affordable."

What did not work? What were the challenges?: 

The program's challenges are:

  • Breaking through the trust barrier - Pesinet found it difficult to promote the service rapidly in areas where there is little awareness of the value of prevention, as this involves a significant cultural shift. 
  • The organization's desire to be financially self-sustaining has meant slow growth (compared to subsidized programs); the paying approach inevitably led to slower adoption than if the service were free of charge. 


e-IMCI: Improving Pediatric Health Care in Low-Income Countries

Posted by LeighJaschke on Jul 07, 2009
e-IMCI: Improving Pediatric Health Care in Low-Income Countries data sheet 2420 Views
DeRenzi, Brian; Lesh, Neal; Parikh, Tapan; Sims, Clayton; Mitchell, Marc; Maokola, Werner; Chemba, Mwajuma; Hamisi, Yuna; Schellenberg, David; Borriello, Gaetano
Publication Date: 
Jan 2008
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

Every year almost 10 million children die before reaching
the age of five despite the fact that two-thirds of these
deaths could be prevented by effective low-cost
interventions. To combat this, the World Health
Organization (WHO) and UNICEF developed the
Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI)
treatment algorithms.
In Tanzania, IMCI is the national policy for the treatment
of childhood illness. This paper describes e-IMCI, a system
for administering the IMCI protocol using a PDA. Our
preliminary investigation in rural Tanzania suggests that e-
IMCI is almost as fast as the common practice and
potentially improves care by increasing adherence to the
IMCI protocols. Additionally, we found clinicians could
quickly be trained to use e-IMCI and were very enthusiastic
about using it in the future.