Health Systems Strengthening
More than 70, 000 illegal abortions are carried out in Zimbabwe every year, with Zimbabwean women running a 200 times greater risk of dying due to abortion complications than their counterparts in other neighbouring countries, such as South Africa. According to the Zimbabwe Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Zimbabwe National Association of Mental Health, between 45 to 65% of women will experience some symptoms of depression during pregnancy, which is significantly higher than the 14 to 23% in developed countries. Finally, maternal mortality in still very high due to delay in seeking appropriate medical help and to lack of access to information.
Dr. Integrity Mchechesi is junior residence medical officer at Parirenyatwa Central hospital in Harare, Zimbabwe. He is involved with Fintum Health Solutions which is Zimbabwe’s first mobile health social enterprise. Afrimom, developed under Fintum Health Solutions, uses a text and smart phone based mobile application. The application includes a virtual women clinic as well as a physical women clinic and several social media platforms. Afrimom will in time also provide maternal, sexual and reproductive health in English and other local languages. The innovation provides access to paid emergency contraception and pre- and post-exposure ART medication to all eligible girls and women, and connecting pregnant women to local obstetricians and maternity clinics. The app also provides 24/7 support for women on all maternal and sexual reproductive health matters.