Starting in 2013, TulaSalud worked with the malaria sub-program of the Guatemalan ministry of health to implement a pilot project to streamline malaria diagnosis and treatment. Funded by the Global Fund and the Tula Foundation, the project goal was to reduce the total time taken to transport blood tests administered by field volunteers to ministry labs for confirmation, and to communicate results back to the field worker in real-time. Prior to implementing the project, these steps often took weeks to complete, far longer than the ministry target of 3 days.
Based on Kawok, TulaSalud designed and developed a mobile application, web reporting, web mapping and text message solution illustrated below. Using Kawok, field workers register suspect cases on their phone, which triggers an automated text message, allowing transportation of blood samples to be arranged immediately. All case information is automatically available to the lab technician, who enters the lab test results into their phone, which triggers an automated text message to the field worker with the test result.
Field testing of the Kawok based solution began in November, 2013 in 75 communities, involving 81 field volunteers supported by labs in 7 health districts. During the 7 month field test, over 1,100 cases where entered into the system and over 100 positive test results were communicated. In July, 2014 the project was independently evaluated by Caucaseco on behalf of the Global Fund and deemed to be 95% effective. During the project, over 50% of confirmed results were communicated to the field volunteer within 3 days.
The Tula Foundation is currently in discussions with the Guatemalan ministry to co-fund the continuation and expansion of the Kawok solution, as part of a new multi-year program funded by the Global Fund.