The BornFyne-PNMS Project
BornFyne--Prenatal Management System Mobile Application
Cameroon is a lower-middle income country, with a relatively high maternal mortality rate (MMR) of 596/100,000 lives birth. This high rate has been attributed partly to the policies in place that affect the healthcare delivery system, especially in resource allocation, poorly functioning referral systems, emergency services, high out-of-pocket expenses, long trekking distances to reach motorable roads are peculiar issues that continue to impede access to maternal health services in Cameroon and in most sub-Saharan African countries in general.
Women make up to 50% of the population in Cameroon and up to 71% of the population live below $5 a day and over 50% live under $2 a day. Up to 44% of the population live in rural settings and women living in rural areas and poor women have 30% and 50% increased odds of a maternal death over urban and rich women.
Rates of unintended pregnancy in Cameroon has been attributed largely to low utilization of contraception, particularly modern methods. Most women tend to get sensitized on family planning often during antenatal or postpartum clinic visits, which a cross section of the population is unable to adequately access. In addition, the current COVID-19 pandemic and its measures have increase barriers for women accessing health services, compromised trust, reduced the use of family planning services and antenatal care visits. A lancet study recently estimated an increase of 8 - 38·6% in maternal deaths per month across countries due to COVID-19.
Achieving universal health coverage requires digital technologies that can transform the way health data is collected and used and contribute to more equitable, rights-based health policies and primary health care services. Reducing poverty and improving livelihoods requires bold and innovative approaches for delivery of health care services that can integrate best practices into health system delivery at global, regional, national and sub national levels.
BornFyne is a Grand Challenges Canada funded innovation which was tested in Bali district in Cameroon in 2018 and trademarked with the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI). BornFyne is an interactive mobile application connected to a real time web portal, prenatal management system (PNMS). The PNMS is designed to use geo-spacial information and establishes a real-time digital connection between the pregnant woman and the doctor to geo navigate and geo-localized distressed patients or pregnant women, especially during emergencies. It uses both online and offline features to ensure a continuous educational platform for health promotional messages for family planning and other public health emergency using local languages, generates highly disaggregated prenatal data that compliments the DHIS2 system. BornFyne-PNMS supports the delivery of clinical care for antenatal care visits and skilled birth delivery at primary care level, district hospitals and facilitates referrals to regional hospitals. It supports the health system and ability to respond, track and monitor health facilities, providers, districts, and regional activities for. Using BornFyne digital platform, we aim to improve and strengthened the capacity of district health services and health facilities in
delivering innovative, accountable, quality, data driven reproductive maternal and child health services for women and adolescent girls, marginalized and most vulnerable population in Cameroon and other sub-Saharan countries.
The digital framework for Cameroon outlines several strategic objectives amongst which ensure about 70% of health facilities go digital by 2024 to facilitate universal health coverage, build capacity of health providers on using digital platform to deliver care and deploy digital tools developed in specific structures. These objectives align with the BornFyne platform -- in line with the mission of the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation which seeks to catalyse Africa’s economic transformation by focusing on social entrepreneurship, science and technology, innovation, public health and progressive policies that create economic opportunities for all. The Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation in partnership with the University of Ottawa Canada, and SPRL Donwel Systems, CIRES Cameroon, University of Zambia (School of Epidemiology and Public Health) and Women in Global Health Zambian Chapter is collaborating with the Ministry of Public Health in Cameroon and Zambia at the district level to continue testing the BornFyne platform in four health districts in the Center and Southwest Regions of Cameroon and in one district in Zambia.