Mobile midwife to enhance maternal care in Nigeria
Mobile Midwife is a subscription service, it was launched in October 2014 on AIRTEL Network where subscribers are to pay a service charge of #30 per week, the service provides timely maternal and child health information tailored to the mother’s stage of pregnancy or baby’s age, combined with recorded voice messages that make the information accessible to those with low literacy levels.
Mobile Midwife Background
Nigeria government in collaboration with Grameen Foundation came up with a technological model of curbing high maternal and child mortality rate, the system was first adopted in Ghana where it has made a tremendous improvement on her maternal and child health system.
Mobile Midwife Nigeria delivers targeted, time-specific, evidence-based voice messages containing important health information to pregnant women and new parents in their local languages, which will encourage health promotion within privileged and less privileged mothers, ever since Nigerians started using mobile phones communication has been fast, clear and easy to pass across.
Nigeria is a Sub-Saharan African country, a place where cultures and traditions are being held in high esteem, this cultural beliefs and tradition is a major point of reference when making decisions, since women in Nigeria make most household decisions about health, childcare and food traditionally, this is the main reason why we have one in eight children born in Nigeria dies before the age of five and this number is even higher in rural areas with low literacy, also with one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, with approximately four women dying in childbirth every hour.
Mobile Midwife Model
The model explores mothers health decision, by providing information based on the actions and behaviours of the mothers that can harm the child or the mother. For example, some cultural belief says a ‘‘pregnant woman should not eat banana or pineapple so that the head of the baby will not be soft’’.
In other to deliver the right information Mobile Midwife message goes like this ‘‘ Dear Expectant Mother, it is very important for a pregnant woman to eat healthy fruits and vegetables in other to have safe delivery and a healthy mother and child, because there is no food or fruits that can harm you or your baby, so eat enough fruits and vegetables’’
The application leverages the Grameen Foundation’s MOTECH “Mobile Midwife” model in Ghana, but has tailored the service to the Nigerian context, which has made it available in Nigerian local languages mainly; Hausa, Pidgin, and English.
However, since the introduction of the system to Nigeria, it has improved maternal and child health service. Also, it’s valued by its provision of critical needs for medically sound maternal and child health information that is tailored to the local context and delivered through mobile phones.
Although the service has not reached large numbers of users, efforts are being made to extend its reach within the country by involving other mobile phone network service providers, making the service free of charge and community sensitization and awareness.
Holds BSc degree in Public health from Babcock University, Has vast experience in community field work, health program planning, epidemiology, monitoring and evaluation, health promotion. Familiar with the health system from the federal government level to the local governments also worked with FHI 360