What is MomConnect

MomConnect is a South African National Department of Health initiative which aims to support maternal health through the use of cell phone based technologies integrated into maternal and child health services. The services are free to the user, and messages are available in all our 11 official languages. MomConnect is voluntary and the pregnant woman can opt out at any time.

The overall objectives of this initiative are:

• To introduce a mechanism for registering electronically all pregnancies in the public health system as early as possible,

• To send targeted health promotion messages to pregnant women to improve their health and that of their infants,

• To provide pregnant women with an interactive mechanism to feedback on the service they have received.

Why MomConnect

• Large number of maternal and child deaths could be avoided if some basic interventions are implemented.

• Some factors like breastfeeding are linked to the patient (demand side) and need change in behaviour.

• Other factors are linked to facilities and need improvement in the supply side and linked to health service improvement.

• MomConnect is well-placed to address some of these demand and supply side problems.

Why mHealth and cellphones

• A number of pilot projects in several countries have successfully used cellphone technology as a tool to improve interventions which have shown improvements in Mother and Child Health outcomes.

• In South Africa most people including pregnant woman have either personal cellphones or have access to cellphone.

• The appropriate use of cellphone technology has the potential to accelerate interventions of proven value.