African Health Now
How we used data to bring primary health care to African communities that need it.
About the organization African Health Now transforms local spaces—schools, markets, taxi stations, church compounds, parking lots—into medical clinics, providing immediate and local access to doctors, screenings, and life-saving information.
Our challenge African Health Now came to Change Better with a common challenge that every nonprofit faces: how to measure their impact. The organization was exceptional at bringing health care services to vulnerable communities in West Africa. They had organized several major health fairs, with each fair bigger than the last. Patients were raving about the quality of the services they received. It was clear there was potential to make a substantial impact in these communities, but they had very little tangible data on how the fairs improved the health of the communities they served.
Without this data, African Health Now had no way of knowing which of their health services were working or where they needed to improve - information that is critical for a small organization working with a lean budget. And they didn’t have the figures that would convince funders that what they were doing was a great investment.
What we did So we designed a follow up care program that empowers local community health workers to stay in touch with patients easily through SMS. Through the data gathered over SMS, African Health Now has access to information like how often patients are getting sick, the number of times they visit doctors, and what kinds of new diseases or health issues are affecting the communities they’re serving.
The result This information is critical not only to prove the impact of their work, but also helps African Health Now improve their services—when they fully understand the diseases the community is suffering from, they can offer the services that are most needed.
With this framework and the new follow-up care program, African Health Now has access to a supply of data like never before. The organization can now begin to measure the full extent of their impact over time.