mHealth: using mobile technology for maternal and newborn health in resource-poor community and health system settings, Sierra Leone

Client:  DFID

Date:  January 2011 – ongoing

MannionDaniels is part of a consortium implementing a two-phase research project that is assessing mobile communication technology use of public health workers, and exploring the use of mobile phone technology by health users in Sierra Leone.  The consortium is led by KiT (the Royal Tropical Institute, the Netherlands), and funded by DFID Research for Development.

Findings from this study show that when health providers are provided with the means to communicate with clients, they will.  This helps improve the relationship between health providers and clients, and increases health facility attendance for key indicators including first ante-natal care visit and delivery.  Health providers also communicate more with each other, particularly on referral matters.  There are still issues of privacy and sensitivity of certain subjects (including family planning) that are not easy to discuss over shared telephones, and issues of how best to integrate mobile health technology in a busy and resource-poor health system still need to be finalised.

The final reports for this project are available on:

Sierra Leone, SRHR and MNCH, Strengthening Health and Social Systems, Support to Conflict-Affected States, What We Do, Where We Work