ReliefWeb have recently reported on FrontlineSMS being used to help to contain the spread of malaria in Cambodia. This story has also received coverage from IRIN, the news service of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The FrontlineSMS blog featured a guest post about this use of our software, too, which you can read here. Below is an extract from the ReliefWeb coverage:
"TA REACH, 6 September 2011 - Cambodian efforts to contain the spread of malaria have been strengthened by a pilot project using text messaging and web-based technology.
"My work is definitely easier," said Sophana Pich, 41, one of 184 village malaria workers (VMWs) now trained in three provinces (Kampot, Siem Reap and Kampong Cham) since the project launch earlier this year.
She typically diagnoses five to six cases of the often deadly virus each month during the rainy season between May and October.
"Before, it would take a month before this information was reported to the district health level. Now it's instantaneous," the mother-of-three said from her home in Ta Reach, a village of 200 households in Kampot Province, about 150km southwest of Phnom Penh.
There are close to 3,000 VMSs in 1,500 villages across Cambodia, described by many as the "foot soldiers" in the country's fight against malaria.
As part of a larger US$22.5 million malaria containment effort launched by the government in 2009 and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the volunteers receive three days of training in the early diagnosis of malaria and treatment.
In addition, they are given a bicycle, a pair of boots, a bag, a flashlight and a cooler box for medicines, as well as a small travel allowance.
Under the pilot scheme now under way, they are also given mobile phones.
Using FrontlineSMS - an open-source software enabling users to send and receive text messages with groups of people - VMSs can now report in real time all malaria cases in their villages to the Malaria Information and Alert System in Phnom Penh with a simple text message, including the patient's name, age, location and type of virus."
To read the full article visit ReliefWeb.