FrontlineSMSat7: Your Health is in Your Hands

In the fifth of our seven blog posts celebrating the month that FrontlineSMS turns 7, Sila Kisoso, our Community Support Manager, shares her first inspiring encounter with FrontlineSMS - at her previous role with the Innovations for Poverty Action Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (IPA-WASH) Benefits Project in rural Kenya. 

FrontlineSMSat7- IPA

FrontlineSMSat7- IPA

'I have the privilege of interacting with a vibrant community of people using FrontlineSMS in ways that are impacting people’s lives, communities and countries. For me, every day is inspiring.

'The first time I heard about FrontlineSMS, I was working for the Innovations for Poverty Action WASH Benefits project - this was before I joined FrontlineSMS in June this year. IPA-WASH are using FrontlineSMS to support health education among community health promoters in rural Kenya, where many mothers believe that chronic diarrhea is a normal teething stage for infants and toddlers. In many instances, children do not live past this age and if they do, they will experience stunted growth, with long-term effects on their development.

'I am inspired by IPA's research work on best practice in water, sanitation and health, which will help children living in rural areas to have longer and healthier lives. I had the opportunity to work with this team and their communities; communities which lack the most basic thing we all can't live with - clean water. IPA-WASH work with a team of trained community health workers in Western Kenya. With limited access to internet in these remote areas, IPA-WASH use FrontlineSMS to communicate with their community health workers on the uptake of chlorine in the area as well as collect data on household water quality. IPA-WASH is promoting clean water in rural Kenya – a pillar for good health.

'The effects of poor water quality and sanitation have ripple effects in any community. Each year, 2 million children die from diarrhea-related disease and millions of others suffer from stunted growth which has detrimental effects on a child's development. On October 15th we celebrated Global Handwashing Day - today, I would like to honor IPA's work and that of all those using FrontlineSMS to create change in an under-appreciated speciality. As we celebrate our 7th birthday, what we are really doing is celebrating the amazing work you are all doing with FrontlineSMS.'

We’re collecting photos of our users telling the world how they use FrontlineSMS. If you want to get in on the act, take a photo of yourself or your team holding a piece of paper or a whiteboard telling the world what you do with FrontlineSMS. For example: ‘I monitor elections’, ‘I safeguard children’ or ‘I make art’. You can see a slideshow of the photos we’ve had so far on our Flickr page.

It doesn’t matter what language it’s in as long as it’s legible and if possible you should be able to see from the photo where it was taken, so, if you can, get out of the office!

You can: - post to Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #FrontlineSMSat7 - email the picture and we’ll post them - post the picture on our Ning network and we’ll post them - post them on Flickr or any other web service and let us know where they are