The Tanzania Capacity and Communication Project (TCCP) is the recipient of the “Mobile Health at Scale” award. This award was given by the USAID/Tanzania Health Team at an end-of-year partners meeting on December 11, 2013.
TCCP received the award for its groundbreaking work on the Green Star family planning campaign and Wazazi Nipendeni (“Love me, parents”) safe motherhood campaign. Specifically, USAID lauded TCCP for enrolling over 300,000 registrants in the Healthy Pregnancy, Healthy Baby Text Messaging Service (HPHB) and for achieving over 700,000 hits on the Mobile for Reproductive Health (m4RH) SMS platform. These SMS services are provided in partnership with FHI360 and the mHealth Tanzania Public Private Partnership, respectively.
The Green Star campaign seeks to increase demand for family planning information, products and services by emphasizing the importance of healthy timing and spacing of pregnancy, disseminating information about the range of family planning methods available and addressing myths, misconceptions and concerns about side effects openly and honestly.
Wazazi Nipendeni aims to empower pregnant women and their partners to take the steps necessary for a healthy pregnancy and safe delivery by focusing on early and complete ANC attendance, individual birth planning, prevention of malaria in pregnancy, prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV and delivery at a health facility. The two mass media campaigns refer the audience to their respective SMS platforms for more information. The SMS services are also promoted through health facilities and by community health workers.
HPHB and m4RH are both are opt-in, free to the user, available across all mobile networks. m4RH employs a “pull” approach, whereby users request information on demand through an interactive, menu-based platform that provides automated responses, while HPHB uses a “push” approach; after users enroll they are sent standardized messages that correspond to their enrollment category. Wazazi Nipendeni refers users who want more information about family planning to the m4RH system.
This award underscores the critical role that mobile technology is now playing in sharing important health information. SMS platforms are a low-cost intervention tool and text messages are an easy way to share health messages, especially in developing countries like Tanzania where there is growing use of mobile phones and texting is prevalent.
Learn more about TCCP.