Last week, I read an article about Mama: Together for Safe Births in Crises, a new type of social media tool developed by the Women’s Refugee Commission and M4ID to connect maternal health practitioners in areas affected by crises to other healthcare providers and experts using Facebook and text messaging. The overarching goal is to save the lives of women in conflict and post-conflict settings through faster, easier health information exchange.
Why the focus on women in crisis? One simple reason: care is that much more difficult to access during times of war or natural disasters, and in their aftermath. Pregnant women are incredibly vulnerable in these situations.
Many maternal health practitioners lack adequate training or the necessary tools to aid women through difficult labors. But amazingly, most do have access to the internet, which makes a social networking tool potentially invaluable in providing key health information. Through Mama’s service, health care providers can post questions on the the Mama Facebook page and receive answers to their pressing questions immediately.
This service is new, and its effectiveness is still uncertain, but it is definitely an innovative way to improve the quality of maternal care worldwide. The use of social media to improve health care is still being explored, and I for one will be very interested to see how tools like Mama use Facebook to help health care providers reduce maternal morbidity and mortality.
Using Social Media to Save Women’s Lives, Huffington Post