Interni Magazine whose focus is on interiors and product design featured the Community Health Worker (CHW) Backpack PLUS, a project with frog and the MDG Health Alliance, in their article entitled “The Social Challenge” by Valencia Croci.
Design can become a growth strategy for the south of the world. And even a tool for safeguarding life.
There is one initiative where strategic design can truly make a difference for the health of entire villages. This is Backpack Plus, developed by the Milan-based Frog with Unicef and MDG Health Alliance. The project is much more than a box and a backpack with medical products and information. It is a strategy that coordinates Community Health Workers (CHW) – those who are appointed by the village and trained in basic health care, to help spread elementary rules pot hygiene and provide early diagnosis of frequent illnesses – and the organizations that conduct programs for safeguarding of health.
The objective of Frog given the range of services offered and the forms of knowledge of the CHW, is to develop a complex procedure for wide application in international CHW programs. Thanks to field research in Uganda and Senegal, a toolkit has been created (box, backpack, forms and informative materials using the color code system of pharmaceutical packaging), and a communication system has been hypothesized with smartphones among CHW personnel, connecting them to organizations like Unicef. This phase is crucial to track phenomena and to prepare public health care registers. Backpack Plus sets out to provide a certifiable method to create critical mass and to engage local companies and non-profit organizations work on the same goals, getting beyond the problem of continuity of initiatives based on individual, point by point intervention. A testing phase is now getting started in Uganda.