IFGH 2012: Supporting & Strengthening MNCH Services Using Mobile Phones: a Research Protocol

January 31, 2012

Posted by Irish Forum for Global Health | Conference Abstracts

Authors:Vallières F.1, McAuliffe E.2, Conteh M.3, Walker P.4

Author Affiliations:INDIGO1, Centre for Global Health TCD1, 2, World Vision Ireland3, World Vision UK4

Option 2– Lessons from the field; project and programme evaluations; and syntheses or analyses Presented as – Oral Poster

Issues:

The availability of mobile phones in low-income countries has the potential to increase health service delivery; strengthen health information systems; improve data collection and monitoring; and provide support for health workers. There is a dearth of evidence demonstrating the impact of mobile phone applications on CHW motivation, supervision, attrition rates, as well as maternal and child health referral rates.

Description:

The Centre for Global Health is partnering with World Vision Ireland and UK to improve maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) in Sierra Leone. 246 community health workers (CHWs) will be trained in the delivery of the 7-11 timed and targeted counselling strategy. 7-11 is an evidence-based framework that focuses on 7 key health interventions for pregnant women and 11 key health interventions for children under 2. These core interventions are promoted through a minimum of 10 timely visits by a CHW.

Methodology:

Each CHW will be associated to one of 26 health centre’s, whose health committee will be responsible for their direct supervision. Health centres will be matched according to their designation and catchment area to yield approximately 6 clusters, with 4 health centre’s included within each cluster. Health centre’s will subsequently be randomly assigned to one of three intervention groups: 7-11 training alone, 7-11 training combined with only a mobile phone, 7-11 training with a mobile phone equipped with an existing open-source application, which will be further developed as part of the study.

Next steps:

The impact of the mHealth application on CHW attrition rates will be assessed comparing levels of motivation, supervision, and activity across all three CHW intervention groups. The impact of the mHealth application on referral rates and follow up rates will be assessed by comparing the accuracy, completeness and timing of the monitoring information across the intervention groups.

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