Mushamiri, I., Luo, C., Iiams-Hauser, C., and Ben Amor, Y. BMC Public Health (December 2015), doi: 10.1186/s12889-015-1358-5.
This study analyzed the impact of a mobile health tool that uses text messages to coordinate community health worker (CHW) activities in antenatal care (ANC), postnatal care (PNC), and prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT); and assessed end-user health-seeking behaviors. The authors interviewed 67 pregnant women and new mothers and 20 CHWs about the tool, called the ANC/PMTCT Adherence System (APAS), and analyzed 650 health registers. They found that women enrolled in the APAS were three times more likely to undergo the four recommended ANC visits compared to women who were not enrolled. Enrollment in APAS also increased the likelihood that women would attend the six recommended post-delivery follow-up visits—leading to a 0 percent transmission rate at both the 9-month and 18-month follow-up visits. For CHWs, a major benefit of the APAS was the ability to send text-message updates on appointments to the clients. The authors concluded that using a combination of CHW programs and text messages not only strengthened adherence to ANC and PNC, but also allowed communities that were well integrated into the primary health system to move closer to the goal of eliminating vertical HIV transmission in PMTCT programs.