Harnessing Mobile Phones for Prevention of Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission

Mobile phone technology, driven by local market forces rather than foreign assistance, is spreading rapidly through Africa. Starting in 2005, researchers in Nairobi developed a clinic-based program using SMS (text messaging) to support HIV-positive pregnant women taking antiretroviral therapy (ART). The system is currently under evaluation.

This project will use a similarly structured mobile phone communications system to improve antenatal care, remind the participants to take their medication, and improve postpartum and neonatal follow-up, even when mothers deliver at home. Researchers will determine whether mobile phone text messages can enhance compliance with a known intervention (use of nevirapine) for preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV. This will be demonstrated in terms of improved antenatal care (more than four visits), increased use of nevirapine in labour (from 60% to at least 70%), fewer HIV-infected infants born to HIV-positive mothers, and earlier identification and treatment of HIV-positive infants.

Project ID

105966

Project status

Closed

Start Date

Monday, January 18, 2010

End Date

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Duration

36 months

IDRC Officer

Larocque, Renee

Total funding

CA$ 288,058

Countries

North of Sahara, South of Sahara

Program

Maternal and Child Health

Project Leader

Richard Lester

Institution

University of Manitoba

Institution Country

Canada

Institution Website

http://www.umanitoba.ca

Project Leader

Peter Cherutif

Project Leader

Joshua Kimani

Institution

University of Nairobi

Institution Country

Kenya

Institution Website

http://www.uonbi.ac.ke