Wired Mothers: Fighting Maternal Mortality in Zanzibar
Organized by: Michael Calopietro
Nearly 270,000 women die as result of childbirth every year and over 2.5 million babies are stillborn as a result of preventable causes related to poor maternal health. A further 3 million babies die within the first four weeks of life. Most of these deaths occur in low and middle income countries, but we can reduce the number of maternal and neonatal deaths by better connecting pregnant women to the health system via simple mobile technology. Increasing attendance at antenatal care, improving the rates of skilled attendance at the time of delivery and creating access to emergency obstetric care remain the most effective measures to reduce mortality.
The University of Copenhagen, in partnership with the Ministy of Health of Zanzibar, conducted a randomized control trial that determined that simple mobile technology was highly effective in increasing the use of essential maternal health services and in reducing perinatal mortality. This project was called the Wired Mothers Project and now the Government of Zanzibar wants to scale "Wired Mothers" to a national level.
What is a Wired Mother?
A wired mother is a pregnant women who is enrolled in a text message system that sends health related messages specific to that period of her pregnancy to her phone. Additionally, she receives appointment reminders on her mobile phone and she is provided with an opportunity for person-to-person phone communication with a nurse or midwife at no cost to her.
How Will Your Donation Be Used?
The United Nations Foundation and the mHealth Alliance have supported the national scale-up with a $250,000 catylitic grant. These funds, however, can only be used for specific start-up activities. In order to take Wired Mothers to a national scale, we have to supply over 150 antenatal clinics with simple tablets that will be used to enroll pregnant women in the Wired Mothers system and track their visits and pregnancy outcomes. Unfortunately, we don't have the money for tablets to cover all antenatal care clinics in Zanzibar. We are asking for a small donation from you to help us purchse the necessary tablets. 100% of your donation will go toward the purchase of tablet computers.
We hope you will help us supply this simple technology to antenatal care clinics in Zanzibar and in the process help us save the lives of women and newborn children.