Using Mobile Technology to Improve Malaria Testing, Care, and Reporting.

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health centers integrated with Deki Readers

The system — called Fionet™ — is a mobile-driven solution that improves the effectiveness of malaria testing, performance of workers in the field, reporting of malaria cases, and oversight of health-worker activities.

Chemonics is implementing the Fionet system, developed by the Canada-based Fio Corporation, through an innovative health care partnership with the DRC’s National Malaria Control Program and Ivanhoe Mines. The Ivanhoe-Fio Project aims to empower primary health care providers with cutting-edge technology to improve the quality of malaria diagnosis and care at the community level, as well as the collection and management of data for decision-makers at the provincial and national levels.

“Just as the most effective way to manage a patient begins with an accurate and timely diagnosis,” said Hayim Raclaw, Vice President of Sales at Fio Corporation, “the most effective way to manage the fight against malaria starts with accurate and timely data.”

The three-year program, which was launched on August 31 in the southern town of Kipushi, will introduce community health workers to Fio’s Deki™ Reader. The Deki Reader is an intelligent, mobile device that helps health workers improve the accuracy of diagnostic testing and the quality of care provided to patients, while making data immediately available to public health officials through the Fionet web portal.

 

“At Chemonics, we think the private sector can be a powerful force for creating meaningful change in the world. With Ivanhoe and Fio Corporation, we are proud to put this belief into action — adapting innovative technologies to the local context in ways that can demonstrate a profoundly positive impact on health-care delivery and health outcomes for communities in the DRC.”

Jamey Butcher, executive vice president of Chemonics

“Technology and science have provided new tools to overcome malaria, which is a devastating disease in the DRC. Through the first phase of the Ivanhoe-Fio Project, targeting 54 health facilities, we will train qualified health workers to provide frontline, reliable service to approximately 300,000 residents,” said Oscar Mutanda, who leads the program for Chemonics. “The second phase will expand the initiative to an additional 246 health facilities. This initiative underlines the value of bringing government and private sector partners together in addressing key development challenges.”

With the Fionet web portal, data can be sorted and aggregated into customized reports to analyze patient demographics, track health outcomes and other key indicators, and gauge the availability of antimalarial medication and other commodities. The Fionet system can also be used to communicate key information about disease prevention, healthy habits, and follow-up visits to patients via text message.

The Ivanhoe-Fio Project team is beginning the rollout of the initiative’s initial phase in the newly formed southern provinces of Haut-Katanga and Lualaba. The location of the additional 246 health centers for the next phase will be determined by the Ministry of Health. Eventually, master trainers from the Ministry of Health will build capacity among health workers to use Deki Readers in 300 health care facilities. Public health officials in the DRC will also be trained on use of the Fionet web portal to oversee malaria control activities and use reports generated from real-time field data.

“At Chemonics, we think the private sector can be a powerful force for creating meaningful change in the world,” said Jamey Butcher, executive vice president of Chemonics. “With Ivanhoe and Fio Corporation, we are proud to put this belief into action — adapting innovative technologies to the local context in ways that can demonstrate a profoundly positive impact on health-care delivery and health outcomes for communities in the DRC.”