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Test Text - Quizzing for Maternal Health

After initial training sessions on maternal health issues, expecting mothers and maternal healthcare providers are quizzed by text message. Correctly answering quiz questions, which can be timed with important milestones in a pregnancy, is rewarded with phone credit for the pregnant women and certificates of completion for caregivers.

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The Test Text system would send out scheduled SMS messages to pregnant women or maternal healthcare providers to reinforce lessons they have already been exposed to. The incentive for pregnant women would be the possibility of winning phone credit with correct answers. For maternal healthcare providers, such as midwives, the incentive would be earning certificates which could be displayed as a mark of excellence. Larger prizes, such as mobile phones could also be raffled away among participants, inspiring brand loyalty and continued patronage of mobile service providers.

The initial lessons in maternal health topics could be carried out in conjunction with a visit from a specially trained microfinance loan officer or local health official to take advantage o. Participants would be left with pamphlets from the training with important material presented in illiterate-friendly format. These pamphlets could be developed to have the answer choices and supporting materials for each quiz question.

The Test Text system could provide important reminders for pregnant women of what to expect in each stage of their pregnancy and how to responsibly act on those expectations. The text messages could be scheduled according to each woman's pregnancy - the timing of the birth could be determined after the initial lesson. Health workers could report their participation to government health ministries as proof of professional development. Health workers could also report to the government on their impact, and possibly be compensated accordingly, by keeping track of the number of clients they enroll in the program.

What is the minimum level of mobile technology needed for this concept?

SMS-capable mobile handsets

How could this work in a low-literacy context?

The Test Text system would be tailored to function well in a low-literacy context. The pamphlets distributed at initial lessons would be entirely based on visual storytelling. Even the multiple choice-style answers to the quiz questions could be encoded as pictures. The exposition and details would be elaborated by trainers in the initial lessons. The program would require higher levels of numeracy than literacy, a situation that is commonly found among any population that deals with money.

Which partners could help realise and deliver this solution?

  • Oxfam
  • Nokia
  • Mobile operators
  • NGOs
  • Government


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