A total of 830 women die every day from pregnancy-related difficulties, while 99% of those deaths occur in the developing world, although the developing world does not represent 99% of the world. This may seem overwhelming, but the bright side is that most of these causes are preventable and can be attributed to health illiteracy. So, we have taken on a new goal of spreading health education and awareness among women, especially those who are pregnant, to empower and educate them so they can take informed decisions regarding their pregnancy and children.
We initially worked on spreading health education by using traditional, if rather mundane, methods and campaigns in various hubs where women can come to receive health education from renowned doctors, and also undergo screening for the most common diseases in our community. In our pursuit of saving women’s lives by promoting health education, we came to the conclusion that our current methods were not very appealing to women.
Although our main problem is lack of health education, our community does not actually realise that they lack adequate health education that could prevent common diseases and causes of death. This made our mission even harder to accomplish. So we decided to step back and reassess our tools to see if we could use more sustainable and appealing tools. Our team brainstormed and came up with a great idea. Many have come across comics and playing cards in their childhood, but none of them had an educational angle.
We researched the most common causes of maternal mortality and integrated the methods used for prevention and early detection into a novel idea. We believe that health education cannot be fully accomplished just by doctors and requires a multidisciplinary approach. Therefore, we partnered with talented artists to transform medical information into a magnificent comic and playing cards that any women can read and enjoy whilst still being educated about the most predominant diseases during pregnancy.
To be a good doctor, you have to deliver scientific facts to patients in a clear, accurate and relatable way for them to really take it in. Although doctors do their best to deliver these messages, we are challenged by resistance from certain patients. Therefore, we started to utilise unique innovative methods that aim to ensure a better delivery of health education to pregnant women. We developed a mobile application that guides pregnant ladies during their pregnancy to educate them about symptoms of common diseases, warning signs of dangerous diseases, and methods of prevention. The application also monitors the lady’s nutrition to ensure she meets her daily requirements of the essential nutrients every day.
Our innovative and attractive comic book and playing cards for mothers provide health education in an interesting, yet scientific, way to educate them about the most common risks related to pregnancy and how to avoid them.
In order to measure our efficiency, we underwent a study to compare pregnant patients who receive mundane health education to those who utilise our tools. We identified certain parameters to measure their health education through questionnaires. The results were outstanding and proved how efficient our tools are.
Amr Hassan is a consultant and lecturer of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Cairo University.