Improving access to health of rural women through mHealth

Topics: Health care, Health informatics, Health Pages: 6 (1639 words) Published: June 12, 2014
Research Topic: Improving access to health of rural women through mHealth(mobile health): Case study of 3 counties- Nimba, Maryland and Montserrado counties

1. Statement of the Problem
The use of mobile devices for improved information management and communication in healthcare and public health (mHealth) in developing countries is expanding quickly, including in the field of Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH). However, many mHealth projects are still in an experimental phase and systematic evaluation has only recently started. There is still very limited evidence on the possibilities of effectively using mobile phones among beneficiaries, in particularly women, in rural contexts. Moreover, it is not clear under which conditions and how mHealth can make a difference compared to other “traditional” communication and information strategies. 2. Purpose of the Study

The aim of this research project is to assess the effectiveness of the use of mobile technology to 1) improve access to sexual and reproductive health services, particularly of rural women and to 2) obtain insights in facilitating and constraining factors (including technological, social, economic, cultural and ethical factors) for the successful implementation of these applications. 3. Definition of Terms

1. mHealth (also written as m-health) is an abbreviation for mobile health, a term used for the practice of medicine and public health supported by mobile devices. The term is most commonly used in reference to using mobile communication devices, such as mobile phones, tablet computers and PDAs, for health services and information, but also to affect emotional states. 2. Reproductive Health or sexual health/hygiene, addresses the reproductive processes, functions and system at all stages of life.[1] Reproductive health implies that people are able to have a responsible, satisfying and safer sex life and that they have the capability to reproduce and the freedom to decide if, when and how often to do so. 3. Maternal Health- is the health of women during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. It encompasses the health care dimensions of family planning, preconception, prenatal, and postnatal care in order to reduce maternal morbidity and mortality. 4. Child Health- includes the physical, mental and social well-being of a child. It is the basics of keeping children healthy, like offering them healthy foods, like offering them healthy foods, making sure they get enough sleep and exercise and insuring their safety. 5. Health Systems- A health system, also sometimes referred to as health care system or healthcare system is the organization of people, institutions, and resources to deliver health care services to meet the health needs of target populations. 6. (MDGs)-The Millennium Development Goals  are eight international development goals that were established following the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000, following the adoption of the United Nations Millennium Declaration. 7. A developing country, also called a less-developed country, is a nation with a lower living standard, underdeveloped industrial base, and low Human Development Index (HDI) relative to other countries. 8. Post-2015 refers to a process led by the United Nations (UN) that aims to help define the future global development framework that will succeed the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a set of eight global development targets which come to an end in 2015. 9. Constraints are barriers that impede optimal health promotion, diagnosis and care. 10. Information – is the availability of high quality health-relevant data on clients, populations, health and vital events, where and when it is needed. 11. Availability – is having the right type of care available to those who would need it, as well as having the appropriate type of service providers and materials of health goods and services. 12. Cost - includes the direct cost of treatment and informal payments,...

References: 1. Knowledge for Health (K4Health) Project, Center for Communication Programs, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Focus on mHealth: WHO mHealth Technical Advisory Group for evidence in reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health. K4Health Newsletter Special Supplement. 2013;1(2), . Available from: = 4c824d609a93e07ec89e2df8e&id = 30fb2430ad&e = cbd4082a38#mctoc1
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6. Vital Wave Consulting . mHealth for development: The opportunity of mobile technology for healthcare in the developing world. Vodafone and the United Nations Foundation; 2009. Retrieved from
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