The African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) has received a $US1.4 million grant from Accenture to develop a pilot mobile health training program for community health workers in Kenya.
The grant, which consists of cash as well as the time and skills of Accenture employees, will help AMREF equip 300 community health workers with job skills over the next 10 months and has the potential to bring healthcare services to thousands of people across Africa.
Jill Huntley, managing director of corporate citizenship at Accenture, said: “AMREF is proving it’s possible to develop replicable and scalable programs that teach crucial, even lifesaving, job skills.”
The pilot program is a cross-sector partnership with Vodafone Group and Safaricom, Vodafone’s affiliate in Kenya. Vodafone and Safaricom are providing scalability and mobile solution expertise with technology partner Mezzanine and the Kenyan Ministry of Health, which will provide regulatory advice and access to community health workers.
The M-PESA Foundation, the charitable trust funded by revenue generated from Vodafone’s mobile money transfer service M-PESA, will provide funding of up to $600,000. The pilot builds on Vodafone’s mhealth portfolio, which increases access to healthcare services through its customer reach and scalable mobile health solutions that are developed with its network of global partnerships.
Dr. Teguest Guerma, Director General AMREF, said: “Mobile devices allow health workers to access information with minimal limitations of cost. We believe that such devices will contribute significantly towards improving health outcomes and well-being of the communities we work with. As mobile phone usage in Africa is booming, there is a clear opportunity to use mobile phones as educational tools. This real time access to on-demand skills training will allow health workers to increase their effectiveness and employability.”
M-PESA Foundation Executive Director, Les Baillie said, “This partnership will transform the way in which maternal health information and education is provided to community health workers, who play a critical role in the provision of healthcare in Kenya, particularly in rural communities. At the M-PESA Foundation, our aim is to support projects which will have a lasting impact on the communities in which we operate. It is our intention for this partnership to make a significant, and lasting, contribution towards improving the lives of many mothers and their children.”