Project Ina (Dakota word for "mother") seeks to develop a mobile app to assist the women of the Lake Traverse Reservation with obtaining information about maternal health and pregnancy. The reservation, located in South Dakota, adheres to certain cultural values which make standard maternal health and pregnancy education difficult to implement. Because of this, the objective of the project is not only to make a mobile app but to also compile a database of maternal health and pregnancy information that is accepted by the members of the Lake Traverse Reservation.
Native American tribes, while functioning individually with unique cultural norms, face vast disparities in health and wellness as a whole. Due to the limited healthcare resources and staff, many women are unable to access prenatal care and the information and resources necessary for healthy pregnancy. Our team seeks to improve access to reproductive healthcare for pregnant women of Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Pregnant women, who are at high risk for birthing complications, are often undiagnosed and untreated. Our focus is in adopting a tablet application from Community Level Intervention Program, a technology created by a team in Canada, that can screen inputted data about the mothers and flag the women who are high-risk, while providing treatment recommendations. Additionally, members of the community have raised concerns about drug and alcohol use during pregnancy, and poor diet. Making data available for these issues will improve knowledge and efficiency for the method of resource distribution and implementation of treatments. Native American leader’s power to acquire resources to address health disparities is strengthened by having access to published research.
So far, project INA team members have completed a site visit to the Lake Traverse Reservation. In doing this, they surveyed members of the reservation and established a network for collecting appropriate information. The team traveled to the reservations and conducted focus groups and surveys, as well as shadowing along with the nurses on site.