Ernest Nwokolo Cradle Count

New app helps women keep track of their pregnancy in Nigeria

Pregnant women in Nigeria are using the Cradle Count app to monitor their pregnancy and look out for any sign of complications that could affect them or their baby’s health. The android based mobile application is being embraced in a country where a woman’s chance of dying from pregnancy and child birth is 1 in 13.

ABUJA, NIGERIA (REUTERS) – Oyenobi Adebi, is making lunch at her home in Abuja Nigeria, the social worker is spending time indoors with her family today.

Adebi is also expecting a baby and is in her third trimester now. She says she tries to get all the rest she can whenever she is not on duty and also uses time away from work to learn all she can about her pregnancy; Adebi recently downloaded a new app known as CradleCount on her tablet. The app tracks all that is happening to the baby and mother. It also gives weekly updates of the mother and baby.

“The tips come with a little baby feet icon which is very interesting so it kind of reminds you that you are expecting and makes you kind of excited about your baby, about the baby that is coming because pregnancy can be really hard so you need things to you know… lighten your mood sometimes so the app makes you feel nearer to, or closer to that child that is about coming,” said Adebi.

The free is an android based app that accurately calculates the expected date of delivery using the last menstrual period, informs the pregnant women on how many days are left to the delivery of the baby, sends alerts that remind pregnant mothers to register and follow up with their antenatal care.

CradleCap also sends regular pregnancy and health tips to expectant mothers with an option to share their journey with family and friends.

The app was created in just two weeks by a Nigerian developer based America who wants to help reduce infant and maternal mortality in Africa.

CradleCount was launched in November last year. It was placed on the Google play store in December 2015 and has seen over a thousand downloads so far.

Ernest Nwokolo is a part of the team that created the healthcare app.

“Once you download it on your phone, on your tablet because it’s an android it comes and leaves an icon of the mother and the baby. SO you can click on that and if probably ultrasound or anything it tells you that — or if you are expecting a boy you can turn to the boy and it turns into blue,” he said.

According to UNICEF, a woman’s chance of dying from pregnancy and childbirth in Nigeria is 1 in 13.

Although many of these deaths are preventable, the coverage and quality of health care services in Nigeria continues to fail women and children.

Less than 20 percent of health facilities offer emergency obstetric care and only 35 percent of deliveries are handled by skilled birth attendants.

Many women in rural Nigeria still rely on traditional birth attendants during pregnancy but birth houses often lack proper hygiene and complications can occur during child birth endangering the mother and baby.

“Pregnancy is a period where a lot of people are not too sure of what will happen, what to do, how to do things and all that. So there has been a packaging of very everyday like tips that the pregnant woman can use, from the way she lies down to the way she eats and what she eats and how she exercise herself, the things that she does, things that she should steer clear from, these are the things that are all packaged in that App to enable her to travel that road, that journey to the cradle in a safe manner,” said Nwokolo.

India and Nigeria account for more than a third of the total number of deaths globally. Sub-Saharan Africa remains the most dangerous place to have a baby according to the World Health Organization (WHO).