Effective Management of Malnourished Children Using Electronic and Mobile Phone Technologies

Pakistan has some of the highest rates of malnutrition in the world; 43.7% of its children below 5 years suffer from chronic malnutrition associated with suboptimal brain development. This is likely to have long-lasting harmful consequences on cognitive ability, school performance and future earnings. Globally Malnutrition is the underlying cause of death in nearly 50% of children under 5 years in Pakistan. Government and UN agencies are implementing Community based Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) program in different parts of Pakistan to address the issue. But the rates of referred malnourished child reporting to the CMAM site is low, there is high defaulter rate and difficulties in collection of timely and reliable data.

To address these problems HELP successfully implemented an innovative pilot project of 13 months in 4 Union Councils of District Bhakkar, Punjab in collaboration with District Integrated Reproductive Maternal and Neonatal Child Health and Nutrition Program (IRMNCH and NP) Punjab. Services of the LHWs and Health care personnel at government health facilities were utilized. The project was supported by DFID under its 'Health and Nutrition Innovation Funds' (HANIF).

A special software was developed. Mhealth and electronic technologies were used to enable the monitoring and follow up of children registered in CMAM program and counseling of caretakers. This resulted in increase compliance with treatment and regularity of follow up visits and reduced the number of defaulting children. Online entry, collection and management of data saved the cost incurred for hiring personnel and on logistics involved for manual data collection. CMAM data was available online 24/7.

HELP is planning to scale it up on district level.

Wiw Report 2014 Help Shahdadpur PDF