Every ChildCounts: The Use of SMS in Kenya to Support the Community-Based Management of Acute Malnutrition & Malaria in Children

Posted by MohiniBhavsar on Jul 06, 2010
Every ChildCounts: The Use of SMS in Kenya to Support the Community-Based Management of Acute Malnutrition & Malaria in Children data sheet 2744 Views
Berg, Matt, Wariero, James, and Modi, Vijay
Publication Date: 
Oct 2009
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

Baseline under five child mortality in Sauri, Kenya as of 2005 was estimated to be 148 deaths per 1000 live births. By 2008, the rate had dropped to 81 deaths per 1000 live births due to Millennium Village Project (MVP) interventions. A review of child deaths revealed that among other causes, such as malaria, acute febrile illnesses, diarrheal illnesses and HIV, malnutrition contributed to more than 50% of all child deaths. Community health workers (CHWs) led several interventions, namely community-based management of acute malnutrition, home-based testing for malaria and diarrheal illnesses and immediate dispersal of appropriate treatments.

To support these interventions, MVP ran a pilot project where CHWs were equipped with mobile phones to use SMS text messages to register patients and send in their data with the goal of improving child health and empowering community health workers. This report seeks to detail the methods used, illustrate early results and initial findings of the ChildCount mHealth platform that CHWs have now been using since early July of 2009.

Cloud-Based SMS Solutions: Technology Salon

Posted by nadodi on Jun 11, 2010

We had another great Technology Salon today, this time on Cloud-based SMS applications that showcased four interesting applications -- ChildCount+, Jokko, Happy Pill, and Patatat. And, in big news of the day, Matt Berg succeeded in breaking the Tech Salon cardinal rule of no slideshow presentations (and I am making it public knowledge in case someone needs ammunition in the future).

The rapid adoption of mobile technology by end users has also resulted in a corresponding proliferation of pilot projects around the world. A number of projects discussed in this Salon have cross-over potentials not just across borders, but even across sectors. Here are some notes and links to applications, all in the interest of wider dissemination beyond the group that was at the Salon.

Charge Your Mobile Here (cc) sour_doll

Cloud-Based SMS Solutions: Technology Salon data sheet 4653 Views
Countries: United States

ChildCount: Monitoring Children's Health Through SMS

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Feb 22, 2010
ChildCount: Monitoring Children's Health Through SMS data sheet 7887 Views

Many mobile projects struggle with scale and impact. While a mobile health project may run well with a small number of patients in one hospital, expanding the scope of a project until it is large enough to have real impact takes money, time, and widespread support of key stakeholders in a given community.   ChildCount is well on its way to show scale and, so we hope, significant health impacts using mobile technology for patient support.

In a little over eight months, ChildCount has enrolled nearly 10,000 children under five in their catchment area into the ChildCount health monitoring system – an acceptance rate of more than 95%

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

ChildCount's goals are to:

  • Register every child under five in a community into the ChildCount database
  • Screen those children for signs of malnutrition every 90 days
  • Monitor the children for the three major causes of death in children under five (malaria, diarrhea, and pneumonia)
  • Group all children into age groups to streamline the immunization process
  • Record all local child births and deaths. 


Brief description of the project: 

ChildCount is a health monitoring system that targets pregnant women and children under five. ChildCount provides mobile phones to community health workers who then use SMS to manage data about patients, including health information, immunization records and disease symptoms. 

Target audience: 

The target audience is children under five and pregnant women in specific communities that are part of the Millennium Villages project in Africa.

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

The project especially credits close relations with local community health workers as a key to its success. Also, RapidSMS and the Django platform allowed ChildCount to quickly update its services once the initial project changed into a larger-reaching plan. The project was able to get a more than 95% participation rate in the initial pilot.

What did not work? What were the challenges?: 

One challenge was adapting the program to target all the children in the catchment area, not just the ones who are at-risk. Another, major challenge, is developing the project into a sustainable model so that ChildCount can continue on without reliance on outside grants.