Tanzania : Healthy Baby SMS Service reached a landmark success

Tanzania : Healthy Baby SMS Service reached a landmark success

The CDC-funded mHealth Tanzania Partnership’s Healthy Pregnancy, Healthy Baby SMS Service (HPHB) has announced 1 Million registrations to its service since its launch in November 2012. The service has sent 55 Million free SMS with safe antenatal, motherhood and infant healthcare information to Tanzanian pregnant women, mothers with newborns, male supporters and general information seekers across all national mobile networks.

The service is a success thanks to the dynamic collaboration among over two dozen partners coordinated under the mHealth Tanzania Partnership that works closely with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to reduce high Tanzania’s maternal and infant mortality rates. The partners support the message content development and updates, on-the-ground roll-out, service promotion, end user mobilization and registration assistance and technical application of the service. Healthy Baby SMS Service

How It Works

Wazazi Nipendeni promotes its free text messaging (SMS) service by listing the short-code on its campaign materials. Anyone interested in receiving healthy pregnancy information and appointment reminders can send the word ‘MTOTO’ (child) to the short-code 15001.   Registrants receive instructional messages during registration, allowing them to indicate the woman’s current week or month of pregnancy (or the age of the new-born baby) during the enrolment process. This process allows the recipients to receive specific text messages at the time the information is most relevant to them.

Healthcare partners such as EGPAF and the Aga Khan Health Services – Joining Hands Initiative – play an important role by supporting the registration assistance of pregnant women at the healthcare facility level.   Says Sarah Emerson, “The messages cover timed information concerning prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV/AIDS, antenatal care, family planning, malaria prevention, nutrition (for mother and baby), danger signs, individual birth plan, postpartum care and entertaining information such as foetal development milestones.”  

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mHealth Tanzania Public-Private Partnership Overview   mHealth Tanzania PPP is an innovative partnership, working closely with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Tanzania and with financial support of CDC Tanzania. The partnership convenes multiple sectors, including health organizations, Tanzanian governmental departments and private sector companies combining expertise and resources to achieve sustainable and scalable public health programs that leverage the booming mobile technology (including SMS and USSD) in Tanzania.