Globe donates ICT tools to UNICEF for quality maternal and child care in off-grid areas
Globe Telecom has donated P1 million worth of prepaid load and 200 mobile phones to the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for the provision of quality health services to mothers and their newborn children particularly those in geographically-isolated and disadvantaged areas.
The donation will be used for the Real-time Community Health and Information Tracking System or rChits which was initially launched in 10 off-grid areas to aid in information management and treatment response efficiency. Globe is the official telecom and ICT partner of the rChits program led by UNESCO, Australian Aid, and UP Manila National Telehealth Center.
rChits is an ICT innovation made up of three components: Chits, an electronic medical record system for maternal care; mReports, a software installed in mobile devices which serves as a portable medical reporting system; and LGU Dashboard, a graphical web interface that allows local chief executives to make evidence-based decisions on health care delivery.
“Lack of access to health and medical services is one of the identified causes for the increase of maternal and child mortality rate especially in remote areas, often due to insufficient number of health workers and lack of transportation. Thus, as a leader in ICT and having a mobile network that best serves the areas where rChits is being implemented, we want to utilize our strength to help address this issue,” said Fernando Esguerra, OIC, Globe Corporate Social Responsibility.
Under the Philippines millennium development goal, the country is tasked to reduce its MMR by three quarters by 2015. Latest data revealed 221 deaths per 100,000 live births.
Most health centers still use paper-based or manual systems to record and analyze data. However, due to lack of manpower to implement the program effectively, inaccuracies, missing data, and overall output is of low quality. This hinders the provision of quality health services including proper natal and child care.
Initially, rChits was introduced in Arakan, Aleosan, Midsayap, and President Roxas in North Cotabato; Malungon, Sarangani; Lebak, and Kalamansig in Sultan Kudarat; Davao City, Puerto Princesa City, and Quezon City.
The program is being used by rural health staff consisting of community doctors such as Municipality Health Officers or MHOs, rural-based doctors, public health nurses and rural health midwives.
Through rChits, midwives who make their rounds within their designated areas are given cellphones by Globe where recorded data are transmitted through the pre-installed mReport program to the UPMNTHC server and are then cascaded to the desktop computers of the partner health centers where Chits is installed. The data collected are summarized and analyzed by the LGU Dashboard and presented in graphs and charts to serve as the basis for local executives in the development of health-related policies and programs of communities.
The 200 mobile phone units that Globe gave to the program is equipped with the Android Operating System the same operating system that rCHITs is using.
Globe also provided P1 million worth of prepaid load to jumpstart operations for 1 year. The amount was raised through the My Rewards My Globe Program, a loyalty program tailored for all loyal Globe mobile and broadband subscribers where they earn points for every successful reload. The points earned makes subscribers eligible to redeem Globe products and other items as well as make contributions to community development programs such as rCHITs.