Global Health Ideas

Finding global health solutions through innovation and technology

Global Health Data Collection Where There is No Power

With collapsing infrastructure, no national electric power grid, and ravaged by war, data collection is extremely challenging. Here is a neat tool developed by Professor Braa from Oslo (first seen on Science Daily and then at AidWorker).

“Information scientists at the University of Oslo have refused to become disheartened by illiteracy and the lack of power supply in rural Africa…For the last 14 years, the Department of Informatics has been engaged in the development of sophisticated health information systems for a number of countries in Africa.”

“In the municipality of Tombodu, the village-based traditional birth attendant registers births, children who die immediately after birth, stillbirths and illness or death of the mother by placing small stones in a box with five compartments. Every month the box is taken to the health centre where the stones are counted and the resulting figures included in the health centre’s monthly report to the district authorities. The data are entered into a regional database which is part of the national system…

“The point is to make a standardized system for collecting health data from all parts of the country. This will give local and national authorities, as well as the WHO an overview of the health situation and other data that will help them decide where to take remedial action.”

Using stones to count reminded me of using a different type of “stone” or bead to aid women in ovulation prediction (cycle beads). Read the full story here:
(2008, November 12). Sierra Leone: Collecting Health Data In Areas With No Power Supply. ScienceDaily.

Written by Aman

November 17, 2008 at 9:29 pm

Posted in Global Health

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  1. […] Aman at Technology, Health & Development highlights a data collection method for birth attendants that doesn’t require literacy or electricity. […]

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