Synod launches mobile technology in AIDS response

The Livingstonia Synod AIDS Programme (Lisap) has launched the Mobile Interactions bringing Hope (MI Hope) programme to improve the quality of life of people living with HIV and AIDS.

In Africa the MI Hope programme is running in Zambia, South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria. Twenty nine million users in South Africa are using the programme.

TearFund UK is funding the programme.

Apart from saving thousands of lives, the 30,000 British pounds programme, will also reduce the workload of Lisap by three man days per person a month, paper work and travel.

Nyondo: Use equipment for intended purpose

In the project volunteers will be using mobile phones in data collection, sharing information or help in the diagnosis of various ailments.

Nimbus Social Enterprise Consulting Limited, Director Peter Holt said each coordinator will be responsible for 20 volunteers and using chart sessions modelled on Face book, volunteers will encourage mothers to go for HIV Testing and counselling, seek treatment and other services.

“For instance, they can take pictures of a rash or record client’s complaints and these can be sent instantly to the Programme manager who can then liaise with local health authorities for tentative diagnosis and the volunteers can get instant feedback,” Holt said.

Nimbus Social Enterprise Consulting Limited, a UK based company that provides technological solutions and web based support to NGOs and governments running developmental projects.

Currently Lisap is training 30 volunteers from Thoza in Mzimba district and Kamwe in Rumphi district on how to use the technology.

Each volunteer has been equipped each with a Nokia X3, a portable solar panel charger and two batteries.

Nimbus Social Enterprise Consulting Limited Technology Consultant Mike Santer said Nokia X3 is very robust, tough and resilient.

“This is the ideal equipment for harsh conditions and it is user friendly,” Santer said.

TearFund HIV/AIDS Programme Manager for Africa David Deakin said the real challenge in Malawi is the increasing HIV prevalence rate especially on mothers.

Livingstonia Synod General Secretary Levi Nyondo urged the volunteers to use the equipment for the intended purpose.

“Don’t use the phones to propose women or men. If you fail to use it for the intended purpose, it means you have failed us, the donors and Lisap,” Reverend Nyondo said.

He said he was optimistic that the programme will meet its objectives saying “Lisap is one of the very reliable departments of the Synod out of the 17”

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