I have travelled to many Sub-Saharan African countries over the last decade. Whilst mobile internet connectivity has improved recently, slow data speeds are still the norm. As I experienced 3 weeks ago in the Democratic Republic of Congo and today in Sierra Leone.
I’ve been training Community Health Workers (CHW) to use mobile phones for HIV, maternal and infant health programmes. Both countries are in desperate need of appropriate healthcare resources including medical films.
Helping CHWs to stay up to date is an ongoing challenge. Poor connectivity and slow data speeds are a big problem. Setting up Gmail accounts and downloading apps is simple enough in the UK but in Africa it can take ages.
Our CHWs have lots of healthcare videos available that they can show to their clients. Which are extremely useful to them in the field.
But the only way to set them up is to either physically connect the phones to a laptop and transfer them one by one, or by downloading them using mobile data.
Downloading one film can use a month’s CHW data credit.
Until now. Today, I had 15 people simultaneously ‘sideloading’ 11 films onto their mobiles. It only took minutes and cost nothing in data credit. Thanks to BluPoint.
BluPoint enables everyone in a community to access trusted healthcare information. Using the phones that they already have – feature, basic or smart phones.
All of our required apps and the 11 films were all transferred onto the hard drive of the BluPoint Hub in advance. Using the Wi-Fi from the BluPoint Hub, the CHWs were then able to ‘sideload’ all the digital materials onto their phones. In a couple of minutes, and with no cost, they were all ready to go!
As is normal in rural Africa we also had several power cuts so the long battery life of the BluPoint Hub was also crucial.
BluPoint has become our full training solution in a box. Saving time, money and keeping our CHWs up to date. Helping them provide vital healthcare information directly to their clients. Wherever they are.
About the author:
David Deakin leads the healthcare section at BluPoint, managing and coordinating the delivery of the BluPoint solution. He has project managed successful HIV, Maternal and Sexual Health projects in Malawi, Zambia, Nigeria, DRC and Sierra Leone. He has over 20 years experience of working within the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry.