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Zambia, 11 September 2012: UNICEF Zambia project Programme Mwana wins two design awards

Programme Mwana recognised for using SMS to deliver HIV test results 

LUSAKA, Zambia, 11 September 2012 (UNICEF) – A UNICEF Zambia-supported mobile health project for early infant HIV diagnosis and post-natal care has received two awards for innovation in design.

Programme Mwana, an mHealth initiative, recently won a Gold Award in Design for Social Impact and a Silver Award in Design Strategy from the Industrial Designers Society of America, the world’s oldest and largest member-driven society for product design, industrial design, and interaction design. The society also deals with ergonomics, design research, design management, universal design, and other related fields.

Programme Mwana uses SMS technology to speed up the relaying of HIV test results for infants, allowing for an early start of treatment for those who are found to be living with HIV. Starting as a pilot project in 2010 , it was launched for national scale up by the Ministry of Health in November last year.

UNICEF Zambia Officer-in-Charge Shaya Asindua said that by winning the awards the communities involved as well as staff members from the Zambian Government, partners as well as from UNICEF have been recognized for the efforts they put into this innovative project. “Programme Mwana is a unique programme that is helping to reduce under-five mortality and deliver services to the hardest to reach populations. The hard work by all involved has brought great honour and pride to all of us,” Asindua said.

Programme Mwana was first piloted by the Ministry of Health in 13 districts in six provinces from February 2010 with a goal of reaching nationwide coverage by 2014.

So far, more than 5,000 infant HIV test results have been relayed with reduced turnaround times of around 50 percent, benefiting rural facilities that previously depended on hard-copy results that were transported by road, significantly delaying the start of treatment for infants living with HIV.

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About UNICEF
UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations, and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org and www.unicef.org/zambia.

For further information, please contact:

Patrick Slavin, Chief, Communications, UNICEF Zambia, +(260) 211-374200 x. 2020, Email: pslavin@unicef.org

 

 
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