Midwife on line two

When John and Rob aren’t blogging about cellphones improving incomes and health, they’re forwarding news links about…cell phones improving incomes and health. This IHT story (great find by Rob) vividly illustrates just how valuable connectivity is on an individual and village-wide level, in this case in Sierra Leone.

(Note that ensuring healthy childbirth is a challenge across developing countries, especially low birth weight. Some of our health activities address the problem of scarce health services in rural areas, like Pesinet and PATH’s baby scale . There’s also a Lifewrap body suit that prevents bleeding to death in post-partum women.)

Also worth a read is Technology and Change Chris Albon’s very thorough analysis of how wireless technology improves livelihoods and health, by allowing the “smallest clinic” to ” ask for advice from national or international health experts,” enabling “rapid and cheap health surveys in rural regions” and reducing non-compliance of patient self-treatment via text messaging.Chris also mentions another money-saving aspect of wireless tech: it’s less susceptible to theft. “Uganda, for example, has few land based phones and these have proved to be unreliable due to damage to, or theft of, the telecommunications infrastructure. Most new users, therefore, are turning to mobile phones as their primary form of communication (Phipps 5).”