The MomConnect technical solution is made up seven linked elements which provides important information to pregnant women, mothers and health care workers and produce strategic information for Maternal and Child Health programmes. These elements are:
- Subscription - Pregnant women are able to subscribe to a messaging service which gives them useful information and encourage them to register their pregnancy at the Ante Natal Clinic. To this they dial a free USSD number and their details will be held in a subscription database.
- Registration - Women attending the Ante Natal Clinic are registered on a central database using a similar USSD Number to the subscription method. More information will be collected to identify the facility, allow stage based messages to be sent and improve future interoperability. Health care workers at the facility will assist women with registration.
- Messaging - A number of messages have been developed through consultations between The Department of Health, Health Experts and other organisations with maternal and child health expertise. Messages include antenatal care and accessing care in labour, Diet and Nutrition, Non-pregnancy related Infections, Hypertension, New-born care, Breastfeeding and Immunisation. The messages are tailored to when a women registers, for example a women registering at 19 weeks will receive a different scheduled than a woman registering at 34 weeks. All messages are translated into the 11 South African official languages.
- Service Rating - The day after registering at the clinic a pregnant woman is prompted to fill in a survey on their phones by dialling a free USSD number. The information is used to identify how services may be improved.
- Compliments and Complaints - Pregnant women, who are registered on the service, are be able to send a complaint or compliment via SMS. These messages are sent through to the districts to be used as strategic information.
How To Register:
- Ask someone at a public health care facility to confirm that you are pregnant.
- Dial *134*550# from your cellphone to register.
- Answer a few simple questions about your pregnancy.
- You will then be registered – welcome to the family!
- Pregnancy is registered in the national database.
- User receives weekly SMS messages to inform them of their pregnancy and baby health (up to when the child is one-year-old)
How to opt-out of MomConnect:
Simply dial *134*550*1# from the cellphone you used to register and tell us why you don’t want to receive the messages anymore so we can support you further and improve our service.