In 2016, Windows is honored to help CARE celebrate 70 years of helping people facing crisis and persistent poverty around the world to upgrade their world. The first CARE Packages – full of food and supplies for Europeans clinging to survival after World War II – arrived in Le Havre, France, on May 11, 1946. Having evolved over seven decades, today’s CARE Package cuts poverty’s roots with innovative tools that can’t be contained in a box.
In Bihar, India, for example, where 42 percent of children younger than 5 are underweight, CARE is using technology to help meet maternal, newborn and child health needs. The Windows team was able to travel to Bihar with CARE and witness first-hand how a mobile app helps community health workers register pregnant women, mothers and newborns, and record real‐time healthcare information to improve health outcomes. The app empowers the health workers to track appropriate and timely services through pregnancy, delivery and postnatal care. It also improves the quality of services by equipping frontline workers with the information and tools they need to make the best decisions, ultimately empowering them to provide better, more coordinated care.
As a result, their value is recognized by the people they serve — and by the larger community. “I feel proud using this with women in my village,” said Nado, a community health worker, of the new technology. “It increases my value in their eyes.” Even more importantly, it is paying off in healthier lives. Between June 2012 and February 2014, in four blocks of the Saharsa district, 90 percent of pregnant women in the program area received visits from Frontline Health Workers, compared to only 37 percent in the non-program area. The benefits, however, go beyond the individual or family whose health the technology helps improve. The program data collected is stored and accessed through the cloud and through analysis and modeling, supplies important information for government leaders and policy‐makers to make informed decisions and improve the quality of care across the state.
Whether at that high level, or on the ground in the homes and communities of families in Bihar, technology is expanding healthcare access and improving the health and survival of women and for new children during the vital first 1,000 days – from conception to the child’s second birthday. That all adds up to a lifetime of better health.