Transforming maternal and child healthBy TotoHealth
Sub-Saharan Africa is the most dangerous place in the world for a woman to have a baby, according to the World Health Organization. For mothers who deliver without complications the fight is not over, with children in sub-Saharan Africa 15 times more likely to die before the age of five than children in developed regions. Many of these deaths would be preventable with access to the correct resources and information.
Totohealth is a platform with an SMS messaging service that helps mothers monitor the progress of their pregnancy and the health of their child. The texts advise parents on warning signs for certain illnesses, give tips on breastfeeding and nutrition, recommend inoculations, inform them on healthcare options and guide them through pregnancy right up to the child’s fifth birthday. The platform also reminds parents of clinic appointments, and can recommend measures to take if healthcare is needed.
The Totohealth platform sends mothers two messages each week – one tailored towards the health of the child and another towards the health of the mother. The messages are personalised and timely. For example, when the child is one year old, parents will receive a text relating to flat foot and asking if the child’s ankles are bent inwards. Depending on the parents’ response, they will be given instructions on how to proceed and can be referred to a local doctor by Totohealth’s full-time health worker.
So far more than 15,395 parents have registered to use Totohealth, which is currently available in Kenya. The company is looking to expand operations to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
Totohealth was the overall winner at the Innovation Awards of East Africa in 2015.
Image 'Akaki resident' courtesy of Magnus Franklin.
Last updated: 13th of August, 2015