Monday, September 24, 2012

Programme Mwana wins gold, Silver, for UNICEF Zambia

By Meluse Kapatamoyo

Zambia has been awarded a Gold Award in Design for Social Impact and a Silver Award in design Strategy for its UNICEF-Zambia supported mobile health project, Mwana.

Launched on November 17, 2011, Programme Mwana uses Short Message System (SMS) technology to speed up the relaying of HIV test results for infants, allowing for an early start of treatment for those who are found to be with HIV.

UNICEF Zambia Officer-in-Charge Shaya Asindua
“By winning the awards the communities involved as well as staff members from the Zambian government, partners, and UNICEF colleagues have been recognized for the efforts they put into this innovative project.
Programme Mwana is unique in that it is helping to reduce under-five mortality and deliver services to the hardest to reach populations. The hard work by all involved has brought great honour and pride to all of us,” UNICEF Zambia Officer-in-Charge Shaya Asindua said.

Mwana collaborating partners include; Boston University affiliate, the Zambia Centre for Applied Health Research and Development (ZCHARD), the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) and the Zambia Prevention, Care and Treatment Partnership.

The programme was first piloted by the Ministry of Health in 13 districts in six provinces from February 2010 with a goal of reaching nationwide coverage by 2014.

The awards to programme Mwana, a Ministry of Health initiative, were bestowed on UNICEF by America’s Designers Society, the world’s oldest and largest member-driven society for product design, industrial design, and interaction design.

According to UNICEF, more than 5, 000 infant HIV results have been relayed with reduced turnaround times of around 50 percent, benefiting rural facilities that previously depended on hard-copy results that were transported by road, significantly delaying the start of treatment for infants living with HIV. PYM

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