Many women have lost their lives as a result of childbirth complications which are often as a result of lack of timely care during pregnancy and child delivery. According to a research on maternal mortality; every year, around 300,000 women and 5 million new-borns die of causes related to childbirth and a Danish maternity foundation reports that 99 % of these deaths happen in low- and middle-income countries.
For every woman who dies in childbirth, dozens more suffer injury, infection or disease, World Health Organization says.
Several researches have advised that in reducing maternal death and morbidity associated with prolonged labor, the progress of labour should be monitored. Lack of easy access to functioning health facilities with the capability of carrying out operative deliveries has also been an issue to the foregoing. And in light of this, policymakers have been advised to do more in tracking maternal mortality such as; identifying and fixing failures like delays in providing timely lifesaving care, especially in remote areas.
Therefore, in pursuit of safety for all pregnant women and new-borns a smart phone application has been designed to help skilled birth attendants to provide a safer birth for mothers and new-borns everywhere.
The Safe Delivery App was developed by Maternity Foundation, Copenhagen University and University of Southern Denmark to help control the surge of maternal mortality all over the world especially in developing countries.
About the App by Maternity Foundation
The Safe Delivery App is a smartphone application that provides skilled birth attendants with direct and instant access to evidence-based and up-to-date clinical guidelines on Basic Emergency Obstetric and Neonatal Care. The App maximises the advantage of the wide spread of mobile phones across the globe to provide life-saving information and guidance through a step-by-step easy-to-understand animated instruction videos, action cards and drug lists. It can serve as a training tool both in pre- and in-service training, and equips birth attendants even in the most remote areas with a powerful on-the-job reference tool.
More than 90 % of maternal deaths are preventable with the presence of a skilled birth attendant during delivery. It is therefore crucial that women seek timely care during pregnancy and childbirth, and that all births are attended by health professionals with a sufficient level of training.
How it works:
The Safe Delivery App can be used without any Internet connection after it has been downloaded. Hence, health workers can use it offline.
The app is available for iPhones and Androids. There is no version for Windows phones. It has been used on cheap smart phones, and works well (e.g. Huawei Ascend Y330 smartphone model in Tanzania). However, it’s important that the phone has enough memory, recommended at least 4GB.
The app is based on international clinical guidelines from WHO and ALSO, among others. When implementing in a new country and setting, the developers have adapted it to the national guidelines. Maternity Foundation plans to support partners in the roll-out, including supporting implementation, conducting research with academic partners, consolidating learning, disseminating results and best practices. The app automatically tracks user patterns, behaviour and knowledge levels via GPRS. Knowledge levels are measured based on tests automatically generated via the app to each user. Hence, it is possible to analyse who is using the app, how much, where, how and with what effect. All of which we off course would be shared with those implementing the app in new settings.
According to an excerpt from campusvirtualsp.org, some projects have preinstalled the app on phones before giving them to health workers, to ensure that the apps where on the phones, and because many of the health workers were located in rural areas with no connectivity at all.
Safety for all pregnant women and new-borns is essential, research reveals that the overwhelming rate of maternal mortality and stillbirths could be prevented if proper and adequate provision for nutrition and good quality care during pregnancy, delivery, and the postpartum period are made available.
Therefore, the use of the Safe Delivery App should be made accessible to all health organisations across the globe.