Using mobile technology to improve the health of pregnant women, newborns and infants at national scale
Project start date : 20/08/2014
Beneficiary country : South Africa
About the project
Launched in August 2014, MomConnect is a South African National Department of Health (NDOH) initiative that uses mobile technology to improve the health of pregnant women, newborns and infants at national scale. Through the platform, every pregnant woman in South Africa can register to receive free, informative, stage-based messaging via SMS or WhatsApp for her pregnancy up to the second year of her baby’s life. MomConnect also provides access to a text-based Helpdesk and the ability for women to rate the service they receive at the clinic. Ratings and questions are sent directly to NDOH officials who respond to the queries and ensure that a high level of service is available at every clinic. Some of the key statistics of the programme are: 95% of clinics in the country have registered 3 million women. This represents ~80% of those giving birth in National Health facilities nationwide. There are also 1 million active users every month. Over 30,000 nurses have been registered on the supporting NurseConnect programme. Our platform uses multiple mobile channels, including USSD, SMS, and WhatsApp, to communicate with registered mothers. Data collected through these channels is then passed through a Health Information Exchange layer to the central DHIS2 system. The information and data is stored at the local level to ensure data privacy.
While South Africa has cut down maternal deaths since 2009, its current rate of 119 per 100 000 in 2017 is very far from meeting the international commitment to cut maternal mortality to less than 70 deaths per 100,000 births by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. Innovative efforts are essential to get back on track.
MomConnect is integrated into the central health information systems to present decision-makers with control interfaces and dashboards to ensure that feedback from mothers reaches the highest levels of government. Available in eleven languages and multiple mobile channels, MomConnect can be accessed by a wide range of pregnant women and mothers throughout the diverse country of South Africa. Feedback loops are integrated within the platform to improve service delivery at critical points.
12 Full-Time equivalents
2 Service providers
3 000 000
Number of beneficiaries since launch