Partners for Care brings innovative healthcare solution to Kenya!
Partners for Care is an Alpharetta-based nonprofit focused on community health initiatives in Kenya according to a press release. PFC was founded in 2008 by Alpharetta resident Connie Cheren, a registered nurse and social worker and David Gruber, and Atlanta area businessman.
Partners for Care is pleased to announce the successful implementation of its mHealth program in Kenya. The program, led by Kenyan nationals, is a joint effort through GlobalHEED, SANA, and Partners for Care in the Marurui slum just north of Nairobi, consisting of 800 households with mostly female heads of households. Most people in the slum are unemployed, with the homes having no electricity or running water. The slum is also filled mostly with children whose relatives have passed away due to AIDS.
Utilizing technology and a handheld Android device, a PFC non-medical clinic staff member can visit a patient in their home, collect and transmit patient symptoms including photos and vitals via an electronic medical record application created by SANA, to the PFC clinician for assessment and appropriate care options.
The serious shortage of available physicians in Kenya makes it impossible to meet the need for medical care. As a result, 473 children under the age of five die every day. In Marurui slum, most options for healthcare are through government clinics, which require people who live in the slum to take public transportation to the clinic, resulting in the loss of wages from work and long waiting lines at the clinic. Additionally, some patients are too sick to make the trip to a government clinic. However, Partners for Care has established a clinic in the nearby vicinity, where healthcare is available either in person at the clinic or in the patient’s own home via mHealth. The mHealth program is the perfect health care solution allowing PFC staff to more quickly identify and treat acute illnesses, help patients manage chronic diseases, and rapidly respond to potential healthcare crises such as an outbreak of waterborne illnesses due to contaminated water.
The acceptance of the mHealth program by the Marurui slum community has been overwhelmingly positive. Data collected since the program began 18 months ago suggests that mHealth is working extremely well and has provided a much needed solution to the previous lack of available healthcare options in Marurui slum.
To learn more about PFC programs, visit www.partnersforcare.org
PFC Staff using mHealth to triage a patient in her Marurui slum home
Using mHealth to treat a sick child in the slum
Patient information is uploaded to an electronic medical record (EMR)
The EMR is transmitted to PFC clinician, Dr. Mercy, in the Marurui medical clinic