NTCHEU DISTRICT, Malawi -- Saidi Machila is always on call. When you're the only trained health provider for over 2,000 residents in a small, rural village in southern Malawi it's difficult to set traditional office hours. "If a child is sick, I want to help them" he said while treating a 10-month old girl who was suffering from diarrhea and dehydration in his small two-room hut that serves as his home and the local clinic.
Machila isn't a doctor or even a nurse but as a community health worker he is a valuable asset to his neighbors. In a typical day he can see up to 15 patients, usually children suffering from high fever, malnutrition and diarrhea. Instead of keeping paper based patient records, Machila uses an app on his phone called CCM or Community Case Management which serves as a database and source of advice. "The app asks questions and based on the answers, I can further assist my patients", he remarked.
Community health workers in Malawi using CCM are supported under a USAID funded Catholic Relief Services Malawi IMPACT (Integrated Mitigation and Positive Action for Community Transformation) project which is designed to improve the quality of life for orphans and vulnerable children as well as people living with HIV. Working closely with the Ministry of Health and implementing partners D-Tree International, health workers are trained to use the apps to better aid their patients and ultimately reduce congestion at larger clinics and district hospitals.
Machila has been a health worker for several years but the mobile app has drastically improved his work load. Watch the video below to see how mobile technology is improving patient care in his clinic.