Tanzania’s Safe Motherhood Text Messaging Service Enters its Third Year with Half a Million Registrants

The Healthy Pregnancy, Healthy Baby Text Messaging Service (aka the Wazazi Nipendeni SMS service) is celebrating a milestone while entering its 3rd year. The service served over 500,000 Tanzanian men and women, whom cumulatively received 40 million informative safe motherhood messages and reminders, since its launch.

So what makes this program so successful? The answer lies in the collaboration of a diverse group of partners. “Each partner takes responsibility for its part in the service implementation, ranging from technical assistance to media promotion and training activities in health facilities. It’s a resilient collaboration as we all share the common goal to improve maternal health and reduce infant mortality. Our partners benefit from this participation, as most use the service as a tool to strengthen their own specific safe motherhood activities,” explains Mr. Saulo Mutasingwa, U.S. Government Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Foundation Project Manager for the mHealth Tanzania Public-Private Partnership program in Tanzania. His organization manages the text messaging service in close collaboration with TTC and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoHSW). The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) – through the CDC – funded the development of the service and continues to provide financial and technical support for its further development and operation.

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Pioneering Mobile for Reproductive Health

This blog is written by Kelly L’Engle, Behavioral Scientist at FHI 360. A version of this blog originally appeared on the United Nations Foundation’s Global Accelerator blog. We re-posted this with permission.

Did you know that 220 million women and girls have unmet needs for family planning? In Particular, Tanzania has one of the lowest doctor-patient ratios in the world — 1 doctor for every 50,000 patients. With those limitations, how are individuals supposed to make informed choices about their health when they can’t access information about their options?

This is a question being asked by the maternal health and global health community.  As studies have shown, improved access to comprehensive sexuality education and modern contraception increases opportunities throughout a woman’s life.  This includes the ability to pursue education and earn an income leading to a healthier life for a woman, her children, and her family.

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From Africa to North America – The Power of Mobile Technology for Development

At TTC, we believe that everyone has a right to high-quality information. And each individual should be able to express his or her opinion. Anytime. Anywhere. Since 2008, TTC has been running behavioral change social campaigns using mobile technology as a bridge to reach remote parts of the world. Since our first mHealth campaign in Uganda, we have expanded to over 17 countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America.

In August 2014, TTC officially expanded to North America. In collaboration with Preferred Family Health (PFH), we are extending the power of mobile technology to enhance substance abuse treatment, prevention and mental health services in St. Louis, Missouri, with funding from St. Louis County Children’s Service Fund.  TTC is very pleased to collaborate with PFH, a leader with over 35 years of experience in behavioural health services in the communities they serve, as TTC’s first partner in the United States. This is a unique collaboration as it brings together TTC’s skills, expertise and experience in running mobile for development (m4d) campaigns in predominantly developing countries now to the United States with PFH’s strategic plan to be an industry leader, incorporating innovative experiential techniques and emerging technologies in their behavioral health services. This shows the versatility of mobile technology as a powerful tool for effective development and social change.

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TTC launches HIV/AIDS prevention campaign in Congo (DRC) with Cordaid & Vodacom

Today we sent out 100.000 text messages to people living in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Why? Because it is World Aids Day and every hour, nearly 240 people contract HIV in this world. Yes. Every. Hour.

World Aids Day
On this important day, organizations and people all over the world unite to fight against AIDS. The importance of such a day is underlined by some other staggering numbers: an estimated 35 million people live with HIV worldwide, of which approximately 3.4 million are less than 15 years old. More than 39 million people have already died from the virus, which makes it one of the most destructive pandemics in history. Despite improvements in HIV treatment, there is still an important job to do on raising awareness and enhance understanding about this terrible disease. There are also steps to take in the process of teaching people on ways of preventing getting it and to separate myths from facts.

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