Rocket.Chat x Project Insaka Launches Today

Gabriel Engel
July 16, 2018
min read

Rocket.Chat x Project Insaka: today marks the launch of a new initiative to provide mental health support for HIV positive pregnant women and new mothers in Zambia using Rocket.Chat for the project's support groups

From July, Rocket.Chat technology will be used for an exciting new initiative in Zambia called Project Insaka that will provide much-needed support groups for HIV positive pregnant and feeding mothers. The project is being jointly run by London-based charitable foundation  The SHM Foundation and Zambart, a research-based organization in Zambia.

Rocket.Chat Cloud installed on the Rocket.Chat Android app will form the basis of these support groups, through which the project will help adolescent pregnant women through peer-to-peer support groups, facilitated by The SHM Foundation's innovative digital healthcare model.

From SMS support to online chat network

Project Insaka will be the first time the model is delivered via digital technology using an online chat platform, having previously used SMS as the means for transmitting communications.

Rocket.Chat's robust client/server chat network gives The SHM Foundation the capabilities to deliver its service to unprecedented levels of HIV positive individuals, at less cost and with enhanced data capture potential.

Insaka, which means an open place to gather and talk in ChiBemba, will break down the barriers to delivering mental health support to Women Living with HIV (WLHIV). This support needs to be accessible, immediate and tailored.

Pregnancy is frequently the point at which young women in Zambia first discover their HIV-status. Such discoveries are both highly common and intensely stigmatized. This often results in women denying their condition, not taking their medication, and ultimately increasing the risk of transmitting HIV to their child. It is essential that these women, many of whom lead isolated lives, have access to regular support.

Project Insaka will be rolled out to 60 HIV positive pregnant women and new mothers aged between 15 and 24 years of age who will have access to 6 different peer-to-peer groups that will address their varying needs with suitable health professionals present in each.

Through previous trials held across Guatemala, Mexico, South Africa and the UK, The SHM Foundation have developed a healthcare model that is proven to increase participants' adherence to drug therapies, and improve the mental wellbeing of people living with HIV.

Deploying Rocket.Chat in Zambia

Rocket.Chat's own team of developers have been working with The SHM Foundation over the last 6 months to adapt the group messaging platform to the needs of adolescents in Southern Africa. Rocket.Chat's mobile app will be deployed on Android smartphone devices, which will allow participants to share daily psychosocial support with one another via a private chat group, in addition to receiving interactive talks with professionals in the field of mental and sexual reproductive health.

Furthermore, Rocket.Chat's suite of optional integrations will allow The SHM Foundation and Zambart to monitor chat data in real time, and thus ensure the safety and wellbeing of participants.

Rocket.Chat is proud to be a part of this innovative and important project. For more updates and photos as the project unfolds, follow us on Twitter @RocketChat!

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Gabriel Engel is the CEO and co-founder of Rocket.Chat, the leading open source communications platform.
Gabriel Engel
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