Generating demand for underutilized commodities poses a challenge in any sector. But when low demand of the commodity in question is due to a lack of awareness or communication, and its short supply is a matter of life and death, how might interventions integrate information and communication technologies (ICT) to close the gap and help save lives?
This was the question at hand for HC3’s March 9 webinar and its presenters. Entitled “Using ICT Approaches to Generate Demand for Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH),” the webinar highlighted best practices for ICT-based RMNCAH interventions and the impact of two such programs. Moderated by the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Program‘s (CCP) Heidi Good Boncana, who co-chairs the Global Digital Health Network (formerly the mHealth Working Group), the webinar brought together technical experts including Durba Gogia, National Program Officer for CCP India; Larissa Jennings, PhD, Assistant Professor of Social and Behavioral Interventions in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH); and Debbie Rogers, General Manager of the Praekelt Foundation.
The webinar began with an informative overview by Dr. Jennings on existing research related to increasing demand for mobile health technologies to improve RMNACH. Next, Durba Gogia dived into the design and development details of an open-source Android application which, after its implementation, was correlated with a demonstrated increase in family planning uptake in Northeast India. Finally, Debbie Rogers walked through the building blocks of MomConnect, an integrated app steadily improving maternal and child health-related conditions in South Africa by targeting both the supply and demand side simultaneously.
A recording of this webinar, as well as PDFs of each presentation, can be found here.
This is the second in a series of three webinars promoting innovative approaches to increase demand for life-saving but underutilized commodities for RMNCAH in recognition of the UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women’s and Children’s Health (UNCoLSC), organized by the Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3) with support from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The first webinar, focused on gender integration with an emphasis on including men and boys, can be found here.
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