Mobile for Reproductive Health (m4RH) is a program providing information about sexual and reproductive health that has been running in Tanzania since 2013. The SMS service of FHI 360 that is supported by TTC Mobile has been so successful at reaching large numbers of people, that in August 2016 the success formula has been launched in Uganda as well. FHI 360 and TTC Mobile are confident that also in Uganda, the project will reach high levels of success.
Improving reproductive health knowledge
Limited knowledge, misconceptions, and fear are some of the barriers that contribute to poor sexual and reproductive health outcomes among youth in Eastern Africa. m4RH is a thriving mobile phone intervention that addresses these problems by means of an automated, on-demand SMS system that provides essential information on sexual and reproductive health to young people. When a user texts “M4RH” to the service’s short telephone number, he or she gets to choose the specific topic he/she will receive information about.
m4RH was initiated by FHI 360 in 2010 and funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Ever since 2010, the successful project has continued to address sexual and reproductive health in Tanzania and reached close to 400,000 phone users. TTC Mobile, technology partner of the program, is responsible for the technological platform and for the short telephone number that the project operates on.
M4RH crosses border to Uganda
The m4RH concept was originally tested in Tanzania and Kenya. The success of these pilots led to the larger campaign that was launched in Tanzania in 2010. Now m4RH Tanzania has matured, and FHI 360 and TTC Mobile are again cooperating for the newest m4RH iteration in Uganda. For the Ugandan sister of m4RH, the same concept has been implemented in order to achieve the same success. In Uganda with funding from USAID through the Advancing Partners and Communities Project, FHI 360 and TTC Mobile hope to reach the youth of 6 districts of Uganda with sexual and reproductive health information. Especially in the North of Uganda, where more traditional and conservative tendencies prevail, young people have a high need for reliable information about reproductive health.
Easily implemented and highly scalable
Daniel Omondi, project assistant at TTC Mobile in our office in Kampala, traveled to the North of Uganda in July to present the technical aspects of TTC Mobile’s work to the technical working group behind the project. He shed a light on how the project is set up and how it generally works. He had a great experience with this new cooperation and is optimistic about more opportunities for m4RH. “The m4RH concept can be easily implemented in many other countries as well. The approach of FHI 360 and TTC Mobile is highly scalable and very much wanted as the need for knowledge on reproductive health remains high in and outside of the East-African region.”