Dr. Nancy Bolan knows how important it is for health workers to have up-to-date information when responding to a maternal or newborn emergency at a clinic in the Democratic Republic of Congo. While serving as a deputy country director for IMA World Health in DRC from 2012-2014, she witnessed situations in which the availability of information meant the difference between life and death.
She wanted to make sure maternal health workers have all the information they need in the palm of their hands.
Bolan worked with IMA DRC’s Country Director Dr. Larry Sthreshley, Technical Director Dr. Bernard Ngoy, Kindu Director Dr. Faustin Ledy, the IMA DRC team, and the Ministry of Health to test the use of the Safe Delivery App, a smartphone application that provides evidence-based and up-to-date clinical guidelines on basic emergency obstetric and neonatal care. She wanted to see if the use of the app by health workers could improve maternal and newborn care and health outcomes.
The Safe Delivery App was developed by the Maternity Foundation in Copenhagen. It walks health workers through the priority key emergency situations at birth. If a newborn can’t breathe, for example, the worker can look to see exactly what to do to save the baby’s life.
“We wanted to look at continuing education using technology for health workers, specifically in emergency obstetric and newborn care, in order to improve the quality of care provided and thus improve patient health outcomes,” Bolan said.