New mHealth Service for Pregnant Women in South Africa
South Africa launched its first large-scale mHealth service, MomConnect, in August 2014. The project uses mHealth tools to provide pregnant women with information about available health services.
MomConnect has four main objectives:
- Register each pregnancy at a government health facility.
- Send stage-based, personalized SMS messages to each mom in the registry.
- Allow women to engage with the health system through help desk tools and services.
- Support midwives by giving mHealth in-service training.
Features of MomConnect set it apart from other available mHealth services. MomConnect is a “point of care” system, so use of the service starts with a woman and health care worker registering the pregnancy using a mobile phone. MomConnect provides access to frequently needed information, allows users to submit feedback on quality of health services, and feeds subscriber information into the National Pregnancy Register.
MEASURE Evaluation SIFSA, which focuses on building strategic information capacity in South Africa, is connected with MomConnect through shared staff and plans for future scale-up.