PPD diagnosis and resources in extrem poverty
Iya is a digital platform, providing Postpartum depression diagnostics and resources for new mothers in rural Nigeria.By 2050, it is projected that over 200 million people worldwide will be lifted from extreme poverty. Almost 90% of those remaining in extreme poverty in 2050 will be living in Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2013, something interesting occurred: the Nigeria Ministry of Agriculture distributed 10 million feature-phone to small holder farmers in rural Nigeria to give isolated farmers, located out of range of WiFi, access to information they would otherwise never receive like the weather and local market prices via Short Message Service (SMS) and voice calling. This event was met with varied opinions, but it opened up an opportunity.
Can we use feature phones, as a low tech solution, to connect these people to the world of high-tech and empower them through access to information?Since 80% of these small holder farmers are women, we decided to see what other information we could provide. With 1 in 7 mothers suffering from postpartum depression (PPD), with severe cases leading to suicides and a lack of access to healthcare in these regions, we knew that PPD was the starting point. By keeping in contact with a woman during and after pregnancy, we can diagnose PPD through SMS by providing them with the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), where we can then provide them with resources to overcome this challenge.
Affecting 1 in 7 mothers worldwide, with severe cases leading to suicide, postpartum depression (PPD) is an often overlooked and untreated form of depression. PPD isn’t a character flaw or a weakness, but typically occurs due to hormones, neurochemistry, and life history. With an estimated 1 OB/GYN per 100,000 female residents in Nigeria, Iya provides access to information and resources without depending on formal medical infrastructure by using simple feature phones. Iya, meaning ‘mother’ in Yoruba, is an opportunity to empower mothers, leading to healthier families and social parity within communities.