HOW A SIMPLE TECHNOLOGY IS CHANGING LIVES
Familia Bora utilises mobile technology to detect child development abnormalities and improve access to maternal and child health
The first five years of a child’s life are
fundamentally important. They
are the foundation that shapes
the baby’s future health, growth
and development. Globally, more than
200 million children under five years fail to
reach their potential in cognitive and social
development due to diseases which would
have otherwise been treated if they were
In a recent United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) report titled Levels and Trends in Child Mortality, newborns account for a growing proportion of child deaths each passing year. The report says the rate of newborn deaths is not decreasing as quickly as that of children aged one to five.
In Kenya, the challenge has been to connect the new mothers to programmes or services that can at least guarantee good health to their children. But one organisation is doing exactly that.
Familia Bora is an organisation that utilises mobile technology to detect child development abnormalities and improve access to maternal and child health.
“Mothers and fathers are offered tips and also advised on how to detect arbnomalities.”
Through its SMS platform, parents receive
timely guidance and evident-based
approaches and also links them to the right
healthcare service providers for specialised
treatment and guidance.
The platform enables the user to select a local language they can understand.
Through the regular interactions Familia Bora has with the parents and caregivers, the platform is able to keep track of each child’s age or stage of pregnancy to enable targeted and timely flow of information.
The messages are crafted and signed off by
expert clinicians and doctors. The tech firm
has a health desk that offers direct SMS
support to customers who have questions
about their children or about pregnancy.
So far, the programme has registered more than 15, 395 parents and more than 1,051 community health volunteers.
Having already launched in Tanzania, the tech company is aiming to expand to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
The tech firm has raised more than USD$ 140,000 in equity investments and grants from among others Spark International, Indigo Trust, Spring Accelerator, mlab and Safaricom Foundation.
The Foundation is keen on supporting development and deployment of technology solutions that achieve social impact.