JamboMama! app: latest developments

Interest in JamboMama! keeps growing. There are now four sites in DR Congo where the application is introduced: in Uvira, in Kolwezi, in South Kivu and in Itere Mbang, in Kwilu. A pilot project on the outskirts of Kinshasa is in preparation.

There are big challenges: since in Tanzania the Internet is becoming more and more common everywhere, the evolution of the application is towards a connected version, but in DR Congo they need a version that works well offline and synchronises as soon as there is some connection. Awaiting better internet, a version that can also be used offline is being developed.

In Tanzania, a small dispensary, La Vie, has started using the application and the women have taken to it. They use the messaging function to ask their caregiver questions about their pregnancy profusely. We note that the thirst for knowledge and communication is intense in remote and poor areas, whether in Congo or Tanzania. Women see that the app is really for them. They feel respected and supported, treated as adults. Yes, for SAHFA this is the first step, not the last mile!

But to meet expectations we must be able to make the shift towards a professionalisation of the support teams that help install the application in a local health system. The staff must be well trained and salaried. Best is to have local companies which sign implementation contracts with health areas and zones that want to integrate the JamboMama! app in their maternal care services. In Congo there is one health zone where computer literacy and the computing environment (widespread possession of smartphones and reliable connectivity) are such that initiators do not need financial assistance, just technical support. But this is the exception.

This huge step taken, JamboMama! is really going to show what it can do for expectant and new mothers. Young girls also benefit from the application to avoid teenage pregnancy, because JamboMama! is full of essential information on conception and pregnancy that helps to better understand the sexual and reproductive functioning of women. So many young girls don’t have a clue about their feminine biological functioning. We must put an end to this deadly ignorance. Together we will get there!

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