INFORM

Brief
Sangath was awarded an international Stars in Global Health grant by Grand Challenges Canada for the innovative idea INFORM – a mobile health (mHealth) platform for ImproviNg Functional Outcomes foR children with iMpairments through community health workers in India.

Objectives

  • To design a mobile-health (mHealth) platform so community health workers can deliver evidence-based strategies to children with neuro-developmental disorders to support activities of daily living
  • Scale up mHealth services to empower families of children with neuro-developmental disorders through community health workers

Overview
The team is currently standardising and restructuring a paper-based manual developed by MAITS (Multi-Agency International Training and Support), UK, to be transferred to the mHealth platform; INFORM. Periodic consultations with collaborators and consultants are being held. Mentor Dr. Gauri Divan also conducted a sensitisation lecture for the technology partner team ZMQ in Gurgaon, Haryana.

Software and programming of the assessment tool and algorithms to support the platform are being developed and the team is working on audio-visual scripts and materials.
Studies have shown how most families of children with neuro-developmental disabilities such as cerebral palsy, autism and intellectual disabilities do not have access to evidence-based strategies to promote their development and address their impairments, making this a global health priority.

The main outcome of the INFORM project is to disseminate evidence-based practices for children with neuro-developmental disabilities through mHealth technology. mHealth technology is a rapidly growing tool in low- and middle-income countries, and this project will empower non-specialist community health workers to deliver best practices to children with neuro-developmental disabilities at a relatively low cost and with assured quality which will be maintained by supervision.

The project management committee has been meeting regularly at the Public Health Foundation of India. A CommCare application workshop in Mumbai helped get more insight into the use and working of mHealth technology.

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INFORM (pilot)
March 2018 – April 2019

Sangath has found idea of delivering INFORM platform to the children with cerebral palsy was successful in the earlier phase of the INFORM project (2013-15) on 10 families and children with Cerebral Palsy in Goa, we are now scaling up this idea by implementing this INFORM pilot project with objective of delivery of INFORM platform to the 40 children with cerebral palsy and their 40 families from the Lokvishwas Pratisthan School for special children, Dhawali, Ponda and Gujarati Samaj school for Special Children, Margao.

INFORM pilot will achieve its objective as mentioned below through 12 months of work:

  • Recruitment and training of a Non-specialist Health Workers (NSHW) to deliver the intervention to families of children with CP
  • Evaluation of knowledge and skills of NSHWs linking to competency measures
  • Delivering intervention to children with Cerebral palsy by using INFORM platform through NSHWs to a cohort of 40 families and their 40 children with CP

Team
Principal Investigator: Dr. Gauri Divan, Developmental Paediatrician
Assistant Coordinator: Dr. Pandurang Aloorkar
Facilitators: Ms. Pratiksha Chari & Ms. Ankita Saraf
Funder: CIPLA foundation