Recent posting on OpenDataKit Blog

Recent posting on the OpenDataKit blog about our use of ODK to improve maternal care in Ethiopia:

Digital Campus is a not for profit company specializing in technology development in emerging countries. For several years, they have been working with Mekelle University (Ethiopia) and are supporting a PhD programme in public health in conjunction with Alcalá University (Spain) and Maastricht University (Netherlands). One of their projects is researching ways in which mobile technologies can help to improve maternal and child health care in rural areas of Ethiopia.

Read the full post at: http://opendatakit.org/2011/10/using-odk-to-improve-maternal-care-in-ethiopia/

Health Extension Worker technical training

Last week I spent several days visiting the training Araya and Florida are running to show the groups of Health Extension Workers how they can use smartphones for data collection.

We first visited a group in Adi Gudem (about 30km south of Mekelle), they’ve had the phones for several weeks now, so are already familiar with them. The training revolved around them using an updated client application (we’ve also changed the server software to use OpenDataKit, but this ought to be invisible to the end users) and the new ante-natal care protocols that we’ve developed over the last few weeks. For the second group in Wukro (about 40km north of Mekelle), this was their first training session, so they’d not used the phones at all before.

All seemed to go well, we had a couple of technical issues that I need to look at this week – but this is to be expected given that we’re still in the technical feasibility stage, we won’t be starting the intervention study until early next year. One of the issues we’re still finding is the level of English of the HEWs – it seems likely that we’ll need to provide the protocol questions in both English and Tigrinyan.

Some photos from the training sessions (plus a few other pics):

BarCamp Ethiopia 2011 Day 1

Am back in Ethiopia for the next couple of weeks – whilst writing this, I’m listening to a presentation about blogging in Ethiopia. Currently there are very few blogs running in Ethiopia (for a list of the main ones visit http://ethiopian-blog.com)

The BarCamp has been very good so far, several hundred staff, students and others from universities and other organisations across Ethiopia, although I arrived slightly late this morning – the traffic was pretty bad – but fortunately I didn’t miss too much. The sessions this year seem to be even more varied than last year, though still quite technology focussed. Quite a few staff and students have made the trip down from Mekelle Uni, so very good to see them here – especially the elearning team and lab attendants.

Have just been to presentation about localisation by Google. Tomorrow I’ll give my presentation about using mobile technologies (smartphones) to improve maternal healthcare. Hoping to get plenty of people to come along – though Google are giving another presentation at the same time, so hope they don’t lure too many people away from attending the other sessions!

Ethiopian Pregnancy Calculator Android Application

As I’ve mentioned before many of the Health Extension Workers (HEWs) we’re working with have trouble using the Gregorian calendar. Much of the work we’re doing with the HEWs depends on them having a good idea of the expected date of delivery for pregnant women. To help the HEWs calculate the expected delivery date, in Ethiopian date format, for the pregnant women they are working with, we have developed a small application which gives them the expected delivery date based on the date of the last menstrual period.

With the application the HEW can enter the last menstrual period in Ethiopian date format and it will give them and the pregnant woman the expected delivery date in the date format they are used to using in their day-to-day lives.

We’ve made the application available for anyone to download and use on their Android phone – just download the app and install on your Android smartphone.

I should give a big thanks to the developers of Joda Time (a java library for working with alternative calendaring systems) which made the development of the application so much easier!

Any feedback or comments welcome. If anyone is interested in developing the application further then we’re very happy to give access to the source code – just contact me :-)

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