neonatal health

Case Study for Incorporation of Mobile Technology in Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health (Manoshi) Program at BRAC Health

Posted by EKStallings on Nov 02, 2011
Case Study for Incorporation of Mobile Technology in Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health (Manoshi) Program at BRAC Health data sheet 854 Views
Publication Date: 
Jan 2009
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

After extensive studies of BRAC’s health services for mothers, neonates and children in rural and urban areas (MNCH and Manoshi, respectively), ClickDiagnostics has developed a mobile phone-based solution for streamlining BRAC’s data collection procedures in Manoshi, enabling BRAC to take a more pro-active approach in strategizing and reaching the women most in need in the urban slums.

ClickDiagnostics is in the concluding stages of piloting thissolution jointly with BRAC, and after the completion of the project in January, will support BRAC in refining the model and scaling up for nationwide implementation in MNCH and Manoshi projects, and possibly also in BRAC Health’s other program.

One important reason why many pregnant mothers succumb to death or preventable miscarriages is that it is expensive for government or non-government health organizations to track pregnant mothers to assess their level of risk and prioritize its limited resources for targeted intervention. A model in which community health-workers use ICT to gather real-time information about pregnant women and send to a specialist can help to address this gap and help health organizations take precautionary measures about risky cases of pregnancies.


Texting with a Purpose: Catholic Relief Services in India

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on May 19, 2010
Texting with a Purpose: Catholic Relief Services in India data sheet 4634 Views

Catholic Relief Services' maternal and neo-natal health monitoring program in Uttar Pradesh, India is incorporating mobiles into its work. The pilot project, which launched in June 2009, uses mobiles to increase volunteers' ability to share and gather health information.

The program uses SMSs to allow ASHAs (Accredited Social Health Activists who are local volunteers) to report statistics on maternal and neo-natal health metrics. According to O.P. Singh, who gave a presentation on the program as part of the SHOPS/mHealh Alliance online conference, several problems in the current system led to the adoption of mobiles: the existing paper system was difficult to use, workers at village and block levels had limited access to information from headquarters, and the paper system was slow. The organization hoped that incorporating mobile phones would give the volunteers a better sense of the health landscape, since they would have access to real time information and be able to instantly share their results. During the presentation, Singh illustrated the system with the following graph:

Basic Information
Organization involved in the project?: 
Project goals: 

The project's goals were:

  • To increase communication flow and collect data via community health workers
  • To teach local health workers to incorporate technology into their work
  • To more accurately track births and deaths


Brief description of the project: 

Catholic Relief Service's "Texting with a Purpose" gave mobile phones to community health workers (ASHAs) in the Uttar Pradesh region of India in order to track live births and deaths. The ASHAs filled out mobile forms and submitted them via SMS to a central database in order to better monitor maternal and neonatal health in the region. 

Target audience: 

The target audiences are:

  • 36 volunteer accredited social health activists
  • Pregnant women and newborns in Uttar Pradesh, India 


Detailed Information
Length of Project (in months) : 
What worked well? : 

The project has raised the level of reported births to almost 100%. Because the data is compiled instantly, less children are missed than under the old system. The Catholic Relief Service has also seen that the ASHAs view the SMS system as a viable plan for the future or reporting on maternal/neonatal health and that they are working hard to master the system.

What did not work? What were the challenges?: 

So far, 65% of the ASHAs still need support from family members or the Catholic Relief Services staff in order to manage the SMS texting; reasons for this include a lack of familiarity with mobile technology and low literacy. Another challenge is the coded SMS system; it has to be filled out very precisely, which can lead to errors.