West Africa: Five Questions - Lesley-Anne Long, mPowering Frontline Health Workers

Lesley-Anne Long | AllAfrica | November 5, 2015

Lesley-Anne Long is the global director at mPowering Frontline Health Workers, a public-private partnership that uses mobile technologies to strengthen health systems and end preventable child and maternal deaths. She spoke with us about lessons learned from the Ebola outbreak.

Ebola Deeply: Can you tell us about mPowering Frontline Health Workers?

Lesley-Anne Long: Yes, we've got quite a large partnership of 16 public and private sector partners, and a much wider organizational network with 50+ organizations interacting with us on a fairly regular basis, through working groups and other task forces. And then we have a broader network of over 200 organizations that we also connect with. The two major areas of work that we do are around country program support, where programs are using mobile technologies, either to help them implement in a more effective way or to scale up proven programs involving government engagement.

Ebola Deeply: How did your focus shift during the Ebola outbreak?

Lesley-Anne Long: With the Ebola crisis, what we found ourselves more and more involved in was helping to bring people together who weren't previously used to working with each other. We helped organizations to think about ways in which they could collaborate more effectively. Ebola has shone a light on the issues more broadly; better mobilization, better engagement with communities, better understanding of what frontline health workers need to be able to respond to a crisis. As a result of the Ebola crisis, I'm certainly seeing much more of a focus on collaborative efforts and data that speaks to each other across different programs...