Tony Choi, Managing Director at TechForDev (not to be confused with the similarly named Vodafone/UN Foundation project), presented on the research and advisory consulting services that his company can offer partners who are interested in introducing mHealth services into Afghanistan.
Tony revealed some very interesting statistics on the region and the opportunity to do good and serve unmet clinical needs. With over 13 million mobile service subscriptions (March 2010), >80% population coverage and 50% population penetration, Afghanistan currently faces massive challenges with the second highest maternal mortality rates in the world (1600 per 100,000 live births), a female life expectancy of 44, very low vaccination coverage and recognition by the UN’s children’s fund as “the most dangerous place to be born” due to a high infant and under five-year-old mortality rates (257 per 1000).
Tony suggested that the challenges for mobile health include “too many pilots, too few plans”, “lack of roads or transport, rugged terrain”, “low-end handsets, low usage of nonvoice services”, ” limited access to mobile phones amongst women” and a “low literacy – 6/10 women are illiterate”.
This blog post is part of a series of mHealth reviews from the 2nd Mobile Healthcare Industry Summit 2010. Click here to get the full review.