IFGH 2012: Toll Free Mobile Communication: Overcoming Barriers in Maternal and Neonatal Emergencies in Rural Bangladesh

January 31, 2012

 

Authors:Huq NL., Azmi AJ., Quaiyum MA., Hossain S.


Author Affiliations:International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR, B)

Option 1– Scientific / Empirical Research Findings Presented as – Oral Presentation (unable to present)

Aims:

Integration of innovative technology in health infrastructure would overcome the lack of universal access to maternal health services. A toll free mobile telephone intervention tested in one sub district of Bangladesh and prior to initiation and at project end qualitative assessments were conducted to understand the utility of mobile phone in increasing communication for maternal and neonatal complications.

Methods:

In-depth interviews were conducted among twelve CSBAs and fourteen mothers along with their husbands prior to intervention. At project end, six CSBAs were purposively selected for in-depth interview and a semi structured interview was conducted among all 27 CSBAs. One FGD was conducted with 10 recently delivered mothers. Thematic analysis and triangulation of responses from different respondents were conducted.

Results:

Prior to intervention, CSBAs reported that mobile communication was not a norm, also there was poor accessibility to mobile services mostly among poor women. Additionally, who communicated through mobile with providers noted irritability from provider’s side and sometimes found switched off of phone. At project end, 85% mothers who attended the orientation sessions communicated CSBAs through mobile phone for maternal health problems. Once a complication is reported or anticipated over phone communication, CSBA either made a prompt visit to mothers or direct referrals were advised. More than 80% CSBAs communicated with Solution Linked Group (SLG, SLG included specialized doctors), while in past SLG was not used to receive phone call from CSBA. At project end, CSBAs are making decisions on pregnancy-related matters in consultation with SLG over phone. CSBAs are valued, as mothers thought that CSBAs are becoming confident in managing complication due to communication with SLG.

Discussion/conclusions/ implications:

Active participation of service providers along with mothers’ accessibility is making mobile communication initiative successful. Direct and prompt referral reduced delay in management and enhance in receiving proper treatment rapidly.

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