Fondation Pierre Fabre

Improving maternal and perinatal care for ethnic minorities in Thai Nguyen, Vietnam through an integrated eHealth program

Main beneficiary country:

About the sponsor

Institute of Population, Health and Development

The Institute of Population, Health and Development (PHAD) will serve as adviser to the nation to improve health. PHAD strives to provide advice that is unbiased, based on evidence, and grounded in science. This expression of mission conveys function (“adviser”) object (“the nation”) and purpose (“to improve health”). It suggests the institutional value of service, the range of products and personnel required to advise well, the audiences and potential users of PHAD products, and PHAD’s aspiration to advance health in Vietnam, in the region and the world. The overarching aim of the next ten years is to increase the impact of what PHAD does: shaping both ideas and actions through analysis, education, and advice to decision makers, and thereby influencing outcomes for improved health. Depending on specific circumstances of the topic and product, PHAD audiences include policy makers, professionals, leaders in every sector of society, and the public at large. To increase its impact, PHAD must do five things well:

1) Select wisely the individual topics and the portfolio of projects undertaken. 2) Conduct its work with the highest possible quality, in a timely and efficient manner. 3) Communicate strategically and effectively. 4) Evaluate what we do from the vantage point of our sponsors, constituents, and audiences. 5) Mobilize the human, physical, and financial resources needed for the task.

Sector: Organizational: Communities, public authorities, NGOs, associations, foundations, etc.

Country of origin: Vietnam

The organisation has:

Full-Time Equivalents
Service providers

Initiative overview

Healthcare themes targeted

  • Mother and child health
  • Nutrition
  • Sexual and reproductive health

Stage of development:

  • Pilot project/testing/trials

Area where initiative is utilised

  • Local (in one city/town/village)

Initiative start date

  • 08/01/2013

Initiative end date

  • 01/31/2017


Financing method

  • Public (grant/subsidies, call for proposals/call for tender, etc.)
  • Government agency (i.e AFD, USAID, etc.)

Economic model(s)

  • Revenue generated by the beneficiaries/healthcare facilities
  • Subsidies

About the initiative

Problem to solve: The high mortality rates and poor reproductive health among ethnic minority mothers and their newborns in mountainous and difficult-to-reach areas.

Solution proposed:

1. To determine the social, cultural and geographic conditions that contribute to poor maternal and child health and limited utilization of health services among the EMW and their children in the Thai Nguyen region.

2. To develop and pilot the use of mHealth as an integrated part of the HMIS integrated eHealth and user-provider interaction model with EMW for RH behavior change communication (BCC) in Thai Nguyen province of Vietnam.

3. To determine the social, cultural and technical barriers and facilitators that impact the implementation of this pilot intervention and the further scaling up this pilot intervention to other regions in Vietnam and other similar resource poor health system settings.

4. To determine the positive and negative impacts of this pilot intervention on the awareness and use of maternal and perinatal health servicesand on issues of equity, governance and the enhanced integration of health systems.

5. To improve capacity of health managers, health workers, and researchers in managing, implementing and researching mHealth projects for better health system outcomes.

The overall objective is to determine whether the implementation of an integrated mHealth intervention will improve access to maternal and child health services for ethnic minority women (EMW) living in mountainous and difficult-to-reach areas of Vietnam. The mMOM project implemented an innovative, integrated mHealth program to improve the maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) of ethnic minority women (EMW) in remote and mountainous areas of Thai Nguyen, Vietnam. EMW’s disproportionately poor MNCH outcomes, and evidence suggesting that current MNCH approaches in Thai Nguyen fall short in providing effective maternal care, provided a rationale for an mHealth intervention to deliver the necessary MNCH information, in a timely manner, directly to community women via mobile phone.

Field report of the initiative

Fields of application:

Information, education and communication for behaviour change (IEC)

Target audience

  • Pregnant women
  • Young children (0-5 years)

Initiative objectives

  • Decreased mortality
  • Decreased morbidity
  • Reduced suffering
  • Improved treatment

Key figures

820 Number of beneficiaries since launch

115 Number of users per Day

Materials used

  • Cellular (mobile) phone

Technologies used

  • Mobile telecommunications (without data connection)

Offline use


Open Source


Open Data


Independent evaluation

auto-evaluated or evaluated by a related organization


Thai Nguyen Provincial Health Department

Health: Healthcare professionals and structures

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)

Academic entities: Universities, research laboratories, etc.

Medical Investment and Communication JSC (VEH)

Industrial: Startups, enterprises, etc.

Simon Fraser University

Academic entities: Universities, research laboratories, etc.