JamboMama! in Bunda and beyond: moving to stage 2

Where do we stand with JamboMama!? The JamboMama! pilot project in Bunda has come to an end. We now prepare for a second phase in the Lake zone of Tanzania. Bunda will continue and new sites will be added in the Mwanza region.

The second phase will introduce the remake that Dure Technologies is producing, because we found that members of rural communities and their health care systems ardently wish to become digitally connected. They have intimate knowledge of the communication challenge between health seekers and health providers and grasp how the use of the app can contribute to overcoming life threatening delays in care seeking and giving, and how it will help overcome the gender bias and empower rural women for better pregnancy care.

They understand and wish to become part of a shift from maternity care imposed to care proposed, explained and consented to; from data inaccessible when you need them most to having key information at your fingertips. It is understood, though far from mastered. More user practice at the receiving end and more customisation based on user feedback at the developers’ end are needed.

The section Follow your pregnancy, which comprises Learn about yourself and Learn about your baby is much liked, we found. The explanation for different check-ups (i.e. why measure blood pressure?) is also appreciated by moms and health providers alike, as it helps moms to understand, and caregivers explain their interventions. From our experience in Bunda we conclude that rural areas, from the village communities to the rural health providers are eager for this shift toward client empowerment.

Girls and women are the most left behind, so they come first for us. They are ready in the sense that they want it, but the process is long, slow, full of pitfalls. It has its victories, too, including some mothers’ and infants’ lives saved, thanks to quicker intervention in the pilot project area.

JamboMama! as a movement and a concept is making its way. JamboMama! as an app still needs further adaptation to become the simple to use, robust, multi-purpose, interactive platform that can be rolled out in a variety of digitally resource poor, underserviced rural settings. But with the formidable team of Dure Technologies in India, and with Kala in Geneva, Deo in Mwanza and additional testers and advisers spread across the globe, we are almost there now.

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