Peruvian Red Cross helps create new smart phone app “Reporta Salud”

Publié: 10 septembre 2014 16:48 CET


By: Enrique Jair Guevara, IFRC

A few weeks ago the Peruvian Ministry of Health  launched a trendy new mobile application to report emergencies. It’s called Reporta Salud, which is an app which enables people to report health emergencies and facilitates an immediate response from the the Health Sector.

The tool was created  by experts from the National Defense’s Main Office (OGDN), Ministry of Helath and the National Defense Directorate of EsSalud. Technical support was provided by   the Peruvian Red Cross. The project was sponsored by the Panamerican Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) in Peru and financially support by the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO).

To learn more about the Peruvian Red Cross’s participation in the development of this new application we talked to Jaime Huerta Osorio, National Disaster Response Coordinator of the Peruvian Red Cross.

EG: ¿In your own words what is the Health Report application about?

JO: Reporta Salud is based on an open source application or open source data kit (ODK), which collects and sends health reports collected through data sheets during an emergency or disaster. The moment they are sent, the data can be seen in the Ministry of Health’s Emergency Operation Centers (MINSA) and by the Social Security (EsSalud) as maps and information tables. It is important to note  that this tool is intended for the countries health sector and service providers. Furthermore the forms for data collection are based on damage and needs evaluation for health.

EG: ¿How is the Peruvian Red Cross involved in technical support?

JO: This initiative is linked to the DIPECHO project, and to our work with  PAHO/WHO in Peru. One of the activities of the PAHO is working on the tools for damage and needs assessments in health. In prior meetings with the Humanitarian Network, the Peruvian Red Cross demonstrated how the ODK was used in the emergency response operation carried out in the Puno region, following heavy snowfall in 2013, sharing  the benefits of using this tool.

After this, PAHO was interested in developing the damage and needs assessment for health using the ODK, an initiative supported by the MINSA and EsSALUD whom had shown interest in adapting and adopting the tool for their own reports. With this the Peruvian Red Cross was asked to provide support (given our experience with the tool) and handle the development process..

EG: ¿What technical contribution did the Peruvian Red Cross make in the development process of the Health Report Application?

JO: They developed the form and the data visualization into maps and charts. The application has the ability to be shared and filtered with other users of the health sector. The form asks new questions, accordingly, taking into account the answers already given. This way avoiding unnecessary details, allowing the data to be sent faster and whoever is giving the report is not overwhelmed with unnecessary data at the time it is used.                                                                             

EG: ¿What prior experience does the Peruvian Red Cross have using the ODK application?

JO: The Peruvian Red Cross has been using this tool for several activities, like in our latest operation in Puno, where we managed the information of 1000 (one thousand) recipients, with this, cash transactions in the bank could be made quite faster.  We also made an evaluation for customer satisfaction and an effective usage by the recipients.  With the medical brigades that worked in Puno, the ODK helped them make triage reports and health care for people in that region.

In the National Blood Donation Program from MINSA, we supported the “Blood Friend” [“Amigo de Sangre”] initiative, to promote volunteer blood donations. For this, volunteers walk through the streets, endorsing the benefits of donating blood and inviting people to register in the donor’s blood bank. This is where the ODK takes a lead role, since this is information acquired from the form in the application. This allows us to connect people that need units of blood with donors.

Facing a likely massive earthquake or a tsunami in the city of Lima, there have been forms that recreate family contact sheets for men and women volunteers. In these cases a registry has been made with data of people that are lost.

EG: ¿ How and what will be used by the Peruvian Red Cross to supplement their work in the health care sector and what advantages do they offer in emergency response?

This tool will help our affiliates create health injury reports. The data allows the information to be concrete and to be widespread socially in the sector. Furthermore, it will also help us see health reports that are being generated by people and decide on the appropriate action, in coordination with the sector.