239249 Use of mobile phones to facilitate health education and to increase the use of community-based services in Louga and Khombole districts of Senegal

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 11:10 AM

Moussa Sarr, MD , Health Program, Plan Senegal, Dakar, Senegal
Diaguily Koita, MD , Health Program, Plan Senegal, Dakar, Senegal
Ryan Lander, MPH , Field Program Support, Plan International USA, Washington, DC
Neha Kuber, MPH , Field Program Support, Plan International USA, Washington DC, DC
BACKGROUND A baseline study in Louga and Khombole districts of Senegal showed that only 50% of children from ages 12-23 months were fully immunized and the prevalence of diarrhea was 33% among children under five. Only 18% of pregnant women had 4 prenatal care visits. THE PROJECT Since 2006, Plan International, a child-centered humanitarian organization, is implementing a five-year project to improve rural communities' access to quality health care. As part of the project, Plan is piloting the utilization of mobile phones in Louga and Khombole districts to disseminate health messages to promote community health dialogue, particularly around preventing diarrhea and promoting children's immunizations and prenatal visits. From December 2009 to December 2010, 160 married women with a mobile phone received weekly messages promoting health behaviors to improve MCH and personalized reminders for appointments at the health centers. RESULTS An evaluation of the pilot showed that the rate of immunization for children was 90% in communities receiving messages on mobile phones compared to 59% in control communities not receiving the messages. The prevalence of diarrhea was 1% in the pilot communities compared to 30% in the control communities. All (100%) of women in the pilot communities have requested continuation of the health messages. CONSEQUENCES Because the intervention has proven to be cost-effective and well received by the communities, the local government has realized that scaling up this pilot would result in a positive impact on the health of women and children in their districts.

Learning Areas:
Communication and informatics
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe how use of mobile phone technology can promote health education to increase the use of community-based health services

Keywords: International MCH, Telecommunications

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Project Implementation
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.