ASH

African Strategies for Health (ASH) launches the mHealth database (screenshot, April 20, 2015).

It’s nearly impossible to find someone who doesn’t own or have access to a mobile phone these days. According to International Telecommunication Union (ITU) 2014 estimates, there are nearly seven billion mobile sub­scriptions worldwide, five billion of which are in low- and middle-income countries.

With mobile technologies accessible to 95.5 percent of the world population, a new platform for promoting and delivering health services has emerged. 

Mobile phones are increasingly being used by various cadres of health workers for tasks such as collecting health data; monitoring implementation of health interventions; or informing local communities about potential outbreaks of disease, as was done during the recent Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

These new, innovative ways to make use of mobile technologies to improve health outcomes are known as mobile health or mHealth.  

{Photo credit: Warren Zelman.}Photo credit: Warren Zelman.

MSH spoke with Fabio Castaño, MD, MPH, global technical lead of family planning and reproductive health about MSH’s approach to family planning and what will define the future of family planning and global health. Below is part one of the conversation. 

What is MSH’s approach to family planning and reproductive health?

[Dr. Fabio Castaño.]Dr. Fabio Castaño.Fabio:

First of all, I have to tell you that MSH has been working on family planning [FP] for over 40 years. Our first-ever international program was working with Korea! We supported their successful story of making FP an essential part of public health activities. At that time, we worked on FP from a standpoint of population control. Then, to help improve the health situation, and also contributing to reducing poverty. So, that is an interesting piece of history for MSH.

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