Search4Dev is an online library for digital documents from Dutch development organizations. This website offers quick and easy access to these documents.

Using mobile phones to strengthen health systems, with a focus on maternal and newborn health

Document type: mthesis
Download file(s): 192374 (1005 KB)
Abstract: Every minute, at least one woman dies of complications related to pregnancy and childbirth, resulting in more than half a million deaths a year. In addition, around four million newborns die within the first month. These deaths take place in developing countries, especially in rural and isolated areas, revealing the greatest gap between rich and poor. The poor status of women in many developing countries, in addition to a low quality of maternal health services, limit women from accessing appropriate health services and health education. The quick penetration of mobile phones in Africa and other parts of the developing world offers a potential to improve health services. This thesis examines the potential of mobile phones in improving accessibility and quality of maternal and newborn health services. The literature search revealed several projects in developing countries, linking mobile phone technology with health: mHealth. Most of the projects are pilot projects, which are externally funded. Furthermore, literature research shows no strong evidence on the effectiveness and efficiency of these interventions. The value of these projects is mainly of pioneering nature and advocacy for utilizing this new technology. Mobile phones have hardly been used to improve maternal and newborn health. Four projects were identified and they indicate improved communication between traditional, frontline and higher levels of health care providers and more timely referrals in emergency situations. However, no strong evidence is yet available regarding its effectiveness and efficiency. Further development of mHealth requires governments to take a more leading role, by ensuring the use of free and high quality software programs, establishment of partnership with the private sector and designing and implementing policies.
Authors: Noordam, C.
Category: Research
Department: Development Policy & Practice
Institute: KIT (Royal Tropical Institute)
Keywords: maternal and child health , health services , information and communication technologies
Language: eng
Organization: KIT - Royal Tropical Institute
PAGE: vi, 38
Year: 2009
Right: © 2009 Noordam
Subject: Health and Nutrition
Title: Using mobile phones to strengthen health systems, with a focus on maternal and newborn health
Training: Master in International Health (MIH)