The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has launched a mobile application enabling the organisation to gather crucial information from the countries it operates in.
The Rapid Mobile Phone-based survey (RAMP) will help health practitioners gather the latest information on diseases and other trends.
“We are now producing preliminary results within 24 hours and a full draft report of a survey within three days,” said Mac Otten, RAMP developer for the IFRC. “This allows us to analyse the data quicker with the end result being that we can adapt interventions quicker to the needs of the most vulnerable.”
The organisation also took note that African governments have no immediate and relevant information to battle some of the disease trends on the continent.
The new tool will assist Red Cross volunteers to easily capture data through their mobile devices and make it available to relevant authorities. The Red Cross has trained its volunteers in using the survey tool.
“I am now able to collect data with my phone and upload it to the internet immediately, where managers can analyse it. No more having to write pages and pages of data and wait weeks or months for the results to come,” Philip Fondo, a Kenya Red Cross Society volunteer, said.
The application has already come up with a number of statistics for usage of mosquito nets, as well as general health issues in Kenya.
“There hasn’t been a nutrition survey in our project area for a long time,” said Mwanaisha Marusa Hamisi, Assistant Secretary General for Coast Province, Kenya Red Cross Society.
“Although we knew nutrition was an issue, the information collected through RAMP will allow us to better target volunteer actions. We need to tackle specific attitudes and behaviours to achieve results.”