A collaboration between Frog Design, UNICEF and the Zambian government is part of a wider effort to deploy mobile technology for social innovation.
Deployed in Zambia and, soon, Malawi, Project Mwana allows for the efficient testing of infants and gives reminders for followup care. Photo: Merrick Schaefer/UNICEF
For mothers and newborns, early medical diagnostic testing is critical to health, especially for detecting and treating HIV/AIDS. But in some developing countries, sending and receiving a blood sample from an extremely remote location is an arduous task that can take between two and five months. Project Mwana, a collaboration between UNICEF Innovation Initiative, the Zambian government, Frog Design and other partners, is changing that by utilizing Rapid SMS technology to deliver the test results instantly. “Test results have a significant impact on infant mortality, especially if retro-viral treatment is needed,” says Erica Kochi, a communications specialist at UNICEF Innovation. “Time is of the essence.”