Women and Mobiles: Voices from our Tech Salon

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Sep 28, 2010

Last week's tech salon, "Mobiles for Women and Women in Mobiles," brought together practitioners, researchers, and mobile developers. The event highlighted both the amazing women working in the field of mobiles, and also showcased the promise that mobiles offer to improve the lives of women and girls around the world.

Designed to encourage discussion, the tech salon featured both presentations and an open marketplace, where attendees mingled and shared their work and experiences. 

Women and Mobiles: Voices from our Tech Salon data sheet 3173 Views
Countries: United States

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 4697 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.