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Web monitoring of malnutrition wins first prize in 1st undergrad eHealth Awards

Student researchers from the University of the Philippines Manila (UPM) won the first prize in the first ever Philippine Undergraduate Research Awards on eHealth (PureHealth Awards) of the National Telehealth Center (NTHC) last July 3, 2013 at Intramuros, Manila.

UPM’s winning research entitled, “MobiQuick PH: Nutritional Assessment and Surveillance Tool for Children Aged 0-71 Months” aimed to use a web based application as an automated version of Operation Timbang, a surveillance system implemented by the National Nutrition Council (NCC) which monitors levels of malnutrition in zero to seven year old children in the country.

With MobiQuick PH, barangay health workers (BHWs) can input data in just two working days in an average of 3.7 hours per day. Whereas with paper documents, the consolidation of records usually lasts around three months for BHWs to accomplish an entire data set.

Other than its inherent swiftness, the web application is also capable of generating a Geographic Information System (GIS) based on the data it collects. This way, stakeholders can map the cases of malnutrion and pinpoint areas of high or least concern. As well, it detects and automatically deletes erroneous data, ensuring accuracy in the data being entered into the system.

Researchers reported that current feedback from users were very positive. On interviews, health workers voiced their approval of the program, describing that it is fast, user-friendly and easy to learn.

The aim of the web-based application is to ease the burden of work among health workers implementing Operation Timbang.