During the second annual World Health Worker Week, April 7-11, 2014, we are celebrating the women and men who save lives and raising awareness of health workforce issues. This post by Julia Nakad of K4Health partner Hesperian Health Guides shares their recent experience evaluating a safe pregnancy and birth app among health workers in Chiapas, Mexico. For most of the community health workers, midwives, clinic staff, and community members in the rural region, this was their first time using a mobile health app.
Chiapas is one of the most marginalized and rural regions of Mexico, and faces unique barriers to improving maternal and child health. According to The Global Pediatric Alliance, Chiapas is plagued with a maternal death rate which is four times the average of the rest of the nation. The majority of the population lives below the poverty line, and with a 25% illiteracy rate, residents face significant challenges accessing quality preventative medical care and information.
Fortunately, thanks to the work of Compañeros en Salud (CES),a sister branch of Partners in Health, local health care providers are receiving training and medical supplies, and are able to reach out to more patients than ever before through home visits.