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GetIN mobile App increases uptake of antenatal care services in Kanungu

16 July 2019
One of the girls mapped with her spouse after delivering safely at Kambuga Health Centre IV. PHOTO: UNFPA/Hope Kirabo.

GetIN mobile, a mobile App used to reach and follow up on young pregnant girls as a way of increasing access to antenatal care, skilled delivery and postpartum family planning in rural areas is showing successes, one year after it was launched in the South Western district of Kanungu, November 2017.

 

In August 2018, the App recorded a milestone 1,000 pregnant girls mapped since the launch, majority of whom were aged 15-18 and others aged 19-21 years.

 

An innovation of UNFPA, the GetIN Mobile App helps midwives and Community Health Extension Workers (CHEWS) to identify, record and follow-up pregnant girls in rural areas. Using geospatial technology, health workers are able to trace the physical location of the girls, store vital patient records and act on system notifications throughout the pregnancy.

 

Research shows that girls aged 10 - 14 years are five times more likely to die in pregnancy and childbirth related complications compared to the 20 to 24 year age group. Also, stillbirths and child deaths are 50 percent more likely to occur to mothers younger than 20 years because these girls are not physically and psychologically ready to become mothers.

 


Didas the administrator mapping some of the girls at Kihihi HC III.
PHOTO: UNFPA/Hope Kirabo.

Since inception, the GetIN App has improved communication between health workers and young pregnant girls to ensure that these girls are followed up to attend all four antenatal visits and deliver at the health facilities with supervision of a skilled health worker.

 

“Awareness about pregnancy danger signs has increased. These young mothers are fascinated by the phone because it makes them feel special when their personal information is entered into the system,” said Ms August Bataringaya, a Community Health Worker, Rugyeyo Sub-county in Kanungu District. Ms Bataringaya says the mobile App has made follow-up easy and less tedious.

 

The community health workers also see this digital tool as a way to advance their knowledge in technology thereby giving them more motivation to map the girls: “I don’t have to worry about losing any information because I know it is stored in the system,” says another community health worker in Kambuga, adding that having a smartphone for work makes him feel appreciated.

 

The GetIN App is easy to use and can be used by any personnel with basic training. Didas, an administrator at Kihihi Health Center III sometimes helps in mapping when the midwives are busy attending to the girls.

 

UNFPA also trained the GetIN users to deliver youth friendly services. Nineteen year-old Patience Natukunda is one of the users of the mobile App. She was escorted by her partner for antenatal and together they sat through the mapping process.

 

-Story by Hope Kirabo