Clubfoot is a debilitating condition that affects children worldwide with an incidence estimated at 1 in 750. Although easily treated, many children can’t access care, denying them a normal life. The burden is overwhelmingly borne by poor children in Sub-Saharan Africa. Cure International, the largest global provider of clubfoot care, only treats 22% of the estimated population in the DRC, 27% Ethiopia, 29% in Mozambique and 32% within Niger. SMS Care does two things:
Firstly, we raise awareness to identify patients and secondly we work with their parents to help them complete care. We use participatory design to create an engagement strategy for the unique cultural, social and economic challenges parents face. These could be flyers, billboards, radio ads, tv ads. Each ad contains a unique SMS number that parents are that parents are asked to message.. By tracking levels of engagement to each unique number, we are able to introduce best-practices from digital marketing into a non-digital environment. When the parents do message, our software converts the message into a database health record, a big step up from current paper records. Our patient is now completely trackable. We can interact with the parents of the patient in many different ways offering services and mobile money incentives to make sure they complete the child’s treatment. We are structured as a non-profit that delivers services to providers of care, like Cure International our current partner and world leader in the provision of care for clubfoot, who are in it for the long-term. We have an MOU signed to scale this out to 16 countries over the next two years if our pilot program is successful. The model we will replicate is simple: we go into a country, customize and set-up our services and then train local actors that we know can sustainably deliver the service for many years, and disengage.