Last month, HITLAB researchers Stan Kachnowski and Paloma Luisi traveled to Accra, Ghana to kick off a comprehensive evaluation of Grameen Foundation’s Mobile Technology for Community Health (MOTECH), the groundbreaking mHealth initiative designed to increase the quantity and quality of pre- and post-natal care in Ghana.
With support from Grameen Foundation, the Lab’s research team is partnering with the University of Ghana’s School of Public Health to complete the study over the next two years. Richard Adanu and Augustine Ankomah from the University of Ghana and our Professor Kachnowski will lead the effort as principal investigators. Paloma Luisi will serve as study coordinator.
MOTECH uses mobile phone technology to improve maternal and child health knowledge and health-seeking behavior in rural Ghana. The program’s Mobile Midwife Initiative provides pregnant women and new mothers with information on pregnancy and infant care, nutrition, malaria, maternal and childhood immunizations, and family planning, as well as reminders to seek timely healthcare. The initiative offers these services in either SMS or voice option, in multiple regional languages. MOTECH also helps community health workers identify women and newborns in their area who need healthcare services, while enabling these health workers to cut down on paperwork and increase accuracy by giving them the ability to enter patient data via their mobile phone.
HITLAB's goal is to conduct an independent research study to evaluate MOTECH’s impact on maternal and infant health outcomes in rural Ghana. The intent is to generate findings that support informed decision-making about the future of MOTECH and resource allocation.
The research program will compare local populations in two socio-demographically similar districts in Ghana – one using MOTECH’s services, and a control group without the mHealth intervention – to determine the initiative’s effects on:
· Maternal, neonatal, and infant health outcomes.
· Health-seeking behavior and health service utilization.
· Knowledge, attitudes and practices of parents and caregivers toward pregnancy, delivery, neonatal health and health services.
HITLAB and University of Ghana School of Public Health researchers plan to recruit more than 2,000 women for the study, and gather data through surveys, focus group discussions, and evaluation of medical records and outcome information in the MOTECH database.
We are thrilled to support Grameen Foundation’s work on MOTECH, and look forward to partnering with the University of Ghana, which is based in Accra and has extensive experience in evaluating maternal and infant health interventions.
For more information about MOTECH, please visit Grameen Foundation’s website: grameenfoundation.org