AKU’s Hayat Mobile App Wins Top Prize for Maternal and Newborn Health

ByLance T. Lee

Aug 20, 2022

The Aga Khan University’s Hayat mobile app has been recognized for its novelty and innovation at the Commonwealth Digital Health Awards (CWDHA) 2022. The app won first prize in the Maternal and Newborn Health category at the 5th CWDHA for demonstrating improvements in reproductive health, maternal, newborn and child health care (RMNCH) services.

Given the dramatic increase in digital health innovations during and after the Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s event was the most competitive yet. A significantly high number of nominations were received from around the world for the Maternal and Newborn Health category, out of which only ten, including Hayat, were shortlisted for the final round.

Pakistan reports some of the worst health outcomes in RMNCH indicators, despite considerable investment in infrastructure and human resource development. The Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) and Neonatal Mortality Rate (NMR) stand at 186 per 100,000 live births and 40 per 1,000 live births, respectively, indicating an urgent need for innovative and effective solutions to achieve the goals Development Goals (SDGs) of RMM 70 and RMN 12 by 2030. Compared to urban areas, the disparity between RMM and RMN is 26% higher in rural areas of Pakistan.

Hayat was implemented in 2019 in rural areas of Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral to address these challenges and help improve accessibility and coverage of RMNCH, immunization and child growth services. The app digitizes health worker operations and improves remote monitoring and tracking of their activities in the field, reducing the need for manual paper-based recording in registers. It includes a comprehensive monitoring platform, called the Hayat web portal, to facilitate remote monitoring by government administrators in real time, to improve transparency and accountability, and to enable efficient and timely decision-making and appropriate allocation. Resource.

“Pakistan’s health system suffers from inefficiencies caused by underperformance of health workers and lack of accountability and transparency, resulting in poor governance. These challenges disproportionately affect women of childbearing age and children – and Hayat is working to overcome these difficulties by leveraging innovative digital health technologies to boost productivity and monitoring,” commented Saleem Sayani, Principal Investigator , Hayat.

AKU and Aga Khan Health Service, Pakistan (AKHS, P) are implementing Hayat in close collaboration with Ministry of Health, Gilgit-Baltistan and Ministry of Health, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) in their efforts to leverage digital health technologies to achieve SDG 3: Health and well-being for all.

“Our goal is to support the implementation, expansion and sustainability of digital health innovations in collaboration with the Government of Gilgit-Baltistan and KPK, to improve health outcomes for underserved populations across the country. northern Pakistan,” said Nadeem Abbas, CEO of AKHS. ,P.

“In its fourth year of implementation, Hayat is used by 485 health workers and has been able to reach more than 320,000 beneficiaries. Hayat was funded by Grand Challenges Canada with support from the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada and the Aga Khan Foundation.

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