Amakomaya wins The Global South ehealth Observatory(ODESS) Award 2017

~ 2017-07-03

Amakomaya is connected with  Nepal wireless project started by Magsaysay award 2007 winner Mahabir Pun. Mr. Pun and his team started wireless project in 2002 that aimed to deliver information in the village of Nangi via internet through wireless connections. With the help and effort of various volunteers an information centre was set up in the village. Many computers were built in the wooden box and computer lab was set up that could connect the village to the internet. Although the project has now initiated various methods to deliver services such as communication, tele-education, you tele-health, and e-business, it did very little at the begining of the project. So, Mr. Rajendra Poudel, a member from Mahabir's team and also the vice-chairman of the project started program training to improve the access of content and services from the internet. He designed the project for highly vulnerable pregnant mother and infant babies. The women, pregnant women and mothers were requested to visit the information centre where they could access the YouTube video information about their pregnancy and caring for infant babies within a very short period of time. However, women refrained to use the services in the information centre. Women busy in their households found it difficult to invest time in the information centre as they thought that the only new generation needed these services to connect to the world. The failure to attract women to the information centres gave rise to the curiosity and determination to find innovative ways that could integrate women to the information delivery in minimum time and without having to travel hours.

 

This was the time when feature phones had penetrated the market in Nepal. Therefore, innovative ideas including mobile phones were explored. Soon after, contents relating to pregnancy targeting the feature phones were developed and tested on mass. The women were excited to see the video and listen to contents and were willing to share and transfer the contents on their mobile phones. This acceptance of technology became a stepping stone to the present version of android application called 'Amakomaya' that delivers information to pregnant women via mobile phones. Amakomaya formally started in 2012 in Makwanpur district of Nepal. The current version of application delivers information, videos about fetal development and government services to pregnant women of rural communities who have to travel hours for information. The contents can easily be accessed offline by the pregnant mothers and Amakomaya also has a preface for health worker that allows them to track pregnant women for their ANC visits and also promote immunization registration and child tracking system in the application. The data collected by the health workers can easily be accessed by the government officials for decision making in policy level.

 

The initiative's contribution to improving the access of information to pregnant women in vulnerable rural settings and also the emphasis and improve the access to immunization was recognized by The Global South ehealth Observatory(ODESS) for ODESS award.The global south ehealth observatory (ODESS) is an initiative of Fondation Pierre Fabre. The Fondation Pierre Fabre is a charitable organization working since 1999, is operating in 14 countries to improve the access to medicine and quality healthcare in the south. It promotes and helps ehealth initiative around the world that aims to increase and improve access to quality healthcare and medicines for the most disadvantaged populations in resource limited countries. ODESS recognizes the innovative projects that integrate health system with ICT tools to maximize and improve the coverage. 

 

This year Amakomaya was recognized by ODESS (from 71 listed initiatives), for the ehealth initiative that allows pregant women to access information about fetal development, encourages regular ANC visits in rural areas and promotes immunization to their new born. The initiative was recorded and documented by ODESS by field observation after which ODESS award was declared. Amakomaya along with 9 other ehealth initiatives from around the world have won for the ODESS Award for 2017. All the initiatives were acknowledged in an annual conference held in its headquarter France on 3rd July 2017. This conference provided all the winners including amakomaya a platform to connect to the world and also the opportunity for dialogue between probable partners.