SMS tools for health monitoring and surveillance in eastern Indonesia

SMS tools for health monitoring and surveillance in eastern Indonesia

The use of personal mobile phones has increased rapidly, even in remote parts of eastern Indonesia, revolutionising the way people communicate. In NTT, mobile phones are already used for health data reporting in an ad hoc way at some clinics and district offices. This Activity aims to improve the effectiveness of health data reporting by adapting and implementing a computer-based system for requesting, receiving and managing data reported by SMS. This system will be efficient, simple, inexpensive, and designed for easy roll out in all districts and clinics.

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This project will improve accuracy and timeliness of SMS reporting for monitoring and surveillance by developing a system using the proven, free SMS management software, Frontline SMS. This system is not limited by reliance on connection to the internet (which is poor in NTT) and has no licensing or maintenance costs.

This project is designed to not duplicate or replace current SMS based tools being used by district officers rather it is intended to further strength any such activities.

The main anticipated outcomes are that health reporting to the target districts (by clinics) and to the target clinics (by village midwives) will become more accurate and timely.

The outcomes are summarised below:
1. Timely and accurate reporting of health data from village midwives to clinics and from clinics to district health offices in target locations.
2. System of health reporting via SMS developed, implemented and evaluated in selected clinics in three districts, with lessons learnt to inform effective roll out to other districts.
3. Capacity in eastern Indonesia to use and maintain the system of SMS reporting of health data, and to readily visualise these data for surveillance and to inform planning, management and evaluation of public health programs.
4. Review of potential applications and some limitations to the SMS reporting system in eastern Indonesia.

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