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Toto Health: Messaging service for Mums and Dads

"Toto Health enables mothers and dads receive targeted and action oriented messages based on when and where the child was born or concieved. These messages can highlight any warning signs in a child's health, connect mothers with local hospitals, etc" It is a FREE information service onces the parents subscribe.

Photo of wekesa zab
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Toto Health enables mothers and dads about the health of their families by getting weekly SMS updates.

Felix Kimaru and the Toto team work on getting word out to parents on the status of the kids at the point of growth in time using available low tech solutions: "We looked at key issues affecting maternal and newborn health in different regions and generated our content to address those issues. Toto Health content is reviewed every 1 month. The content is then approved by a doctor before sending to the end mother or expectant mom. The messages are then translated to different languages."

How it works
Sent: "I am a mom / expecting"
Received: "You will receive an SMS on Monday and Thursday at 9am. The content of the SMS will be unique to you based on when your child was born or conceived."

How might young Moms and Dads from rural areas get to benefit from parenting and child care tips beyond the social and econamical barriers?

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Photo of Maurizio Bricola

Dear Wakesa thanks a lot for sharing this great initiative. We do also have quite an experience with SMS and mobile health outreach services for maternal and child health. SMS and tapping into available hardware in the community is great, still on the long run we are facing the following challenges:

- High costs of SMS prevent national and regional scale and long term or continuous program
- limited amount of info due to costs (SMS and Voice are expensive to support self-diagnosis, flow charts, decision trees, or instructions for a DIY remedy like ORS)
- Mobile phone ownership / SIM change
- Phone is not charged (might take 2 or more days before gets charged again)
- GSM Network failure (phone is not under coverage, network signal is very low and unstable)
- limited reach of CHWs

These challenges are also affecting others great initiatives like this one: https://openideo.com/challenge/zero-to-five/research/south-african-partnership-hopes-to-prove-text-messages-can-save-the-lives-of-mothers-and-children

In your post I read you are sending 2 messages a week to a woman.
How do you plan to be able to sustain such service country wide or unlimited time? Who will pay for those SMSs?
As well how do you reach illiterate users? (We use voice services for this, incurring in voice traffic costs)

Thanks!

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