SMS ALERT FOR EASING OUT PREGNANCY
Over a 1000 pregnant women in the rural areas of Uttar Pradesh are using SMS to keep themselves updated on nutritional needs, pre-natal care and regular medical check ups. Initiated by Microsoft, India, the SMS Toolkit campaign focuses on sending regular messages to pregnant women on nutrition and pre-natal care and backed by regular medical check-ups by the local health facilities.
The SMS Toolkit programme for pregnant women project started in April 2010 was started by Datamation Foundation under the aegis of the Microsoft Unlimited Potential programme with technical support from One World South Asia (OWSA) and ZMQ Technologies. It aims at providing critical Reproductive and Child Health related information services to pregnant and lactating women and their husbands by sending them localized messages in Hindi.
The registration is done manually to mobilize larger people, post which strong community mobilization is done, linking with existing health workers like ASHA, ANM (Auxiliary Nurse Midwife) and Dais. Details (contact information) of the woman who register for the campaign manually are recorded on the Content Management System (CMS) and SMS messages are automatically sent out to the registered users at pre-determined periods of time. SMS messages get supplemented with specific medical advice on the pre-natal care or reminders about specific Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) tests that need to be carried out by the pregnant and lactating women.
The registrants receive two messages per week for the forty weeks of pregnancy (norms as per government programmes).
The messages are sent on nutrition, ante-natal check up, vaccines, and iron folic supplements, alerts to danger signs which may threaten their pregnancy and support in planning a safe delivery.
The duration of the programme is for a year instead of nine months. The extra three months is included to ensure that the child is in good health post birth.
So far, the project has been implemented in 15 villages which are some of the most backward of the Katari cluster in the Ghatampur block of Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur Dehat (Rural) District. In the villages of Katri, Katar, Ballaha, Gouraian, Koro, Surajpur, Qyatra, Banger, Naya Purva, Durauli, Garatha, Kishva, Azagarpur, Dubai and Kishva, and Halia.