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Health is Wealth Fellow Damilola Alawode on using SMS to build doctors' capacities for chronic diseases prevention

Damilola Alawode is one of the winners of Engage Africa Foundation's Health is Wealth Competition. Through this effort, we fight non-communicable diseases in a way that empowers communities and builds the public health capacity of local change agents.We are working with him to scale up and build the capacity of junior doctors for chronic disease prevention through the use of mobile technology.

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A work-plan was drawn to last a total of 12 weeks, starting on the kick off date - 16th of January 2015. It was an exciting two weeks and I was surprised how fast it flew by. Here we go:

  1. I met with the General Secretary of the Association of Resident Doctors (the umbrella body of junior doctors) Federal Teaching Hospital (FTH) Ido-Ekiti to intimate him of the project and to collate the full list of members’ telephone numbers.
  1. A meeting between the project manager, Data Analyst of the Community Medicine department and the resident doctor chosen to assist in the implementation of the project took place. The mission, goal, objectives, indicators, programme and work-plan to be followed were all agreed upon. Duties were also shared to members.
  1. A sampling frame consisting of all the telephone numbers of junior doctors was prepared. A simple random sampling was carried out using the balloting method to choose the required sample of residents from the frame. This was after the sample size had been determined using the required statistical formula.  

(NB: seed funding could not cater for all the junior doctors, hence a subset of their population was chosen).

  1. The dedicated SIM line for the short messaging service (sms), the bulk sms and the incentives to be sent to the respondents were all procured from the identified network providers.
  2. Guidelines for assessing physical activity status and the 28-day intervention templates were prepared by the project manager and his assistant.
  3. The 4 Pre-intervention questions are presently being sent to all the respondents (there was a minor delay due to technical logistics).

Two milestones achieved with the commencement of this project were:

  • Use of the Mobile-Health (m-health) innovation to build up the capacity of doctors
  • Piloting the use of m-health incentives to motivate busy “respondents” to take part in a project.

It was an interesting and fulfilling two weeks, I hope subsequent weeks will go as planned and targets will be achieved.

I am really looking forward to writing the next bi-weekly blogpost.

Till then, special thanks go to Engage Africa Foundation for their commitment to this project.

“Health is wealth and it is worth fighting for”

Yours

Damilola

If you would like to support Engage Africa Foundation's mission, click here

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