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This Program May Reduce Childbirth Deaths In Areas That Need It Most

A new software program aims to show the areas in developing countries that need clinics and other aid the most.

By Melissa Prax | August 24, 2016

Data and algorithms could save a mother's and baby's life during childbirth — especially in developing countries.

And a new software program called PlanWise is trying to do just that.

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In developing countries, pregnant women don't always give birth in hospitals. In Kenya, where PlanWise was tested, only about half do.

And giving birth outside of a hospital can put a mother and her newborn at risk if something goes wrong.

So here's how the planning tool works: PlanWise uses pieces of information like maps and an algorithm to show where hospitals, mobile clinics and ambulances are needed most.

Real-world testing on foot and by car showed that the program works.

The goal with PlanWise is to fulfill other needs in developing countries, like showing where there are gaps in easy access to vaccinations and clean water.

But once the areas in need are identified, building and maintaining the new hospitals and clinics will still take a lot of money and time.

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