JMIR Publications

JMIR Preprints

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Currently submitted to: JMIR mHealth and uHealth

Date Submitted: Aug 17, 2017
Open Peer Review Period: Aug 17, 2017 - Oct 12, 2017

NOTE: This is an unreviewed Preprint

mHealth applications impact in improving immunization coverage and maternal-child health in Africa

  • Adama Kazienga; 
  • Ernest Tambo; 
  • Stefano Giordano

ABSTRACT

Background:

Despite laudable efforts and achievement, maternal and child mortality remains high in Africa. The region accounts for 97% of maternal and 94% of children less than five mortality in 2015. Limited resources, lack of infrastructures and shortage of healthcare workers have been identified as the main barriers towards healthcare outcomes improvement. Availability and use of mobile phones is increasing rapidly with 46% of African population having a mobile-cellular subscription in 2015. Mobile health (mHealth) interventions have proven to be beneficial in improving maternal and child health service delivery and outcomes in developed countries and elsewhere. In Africa, only few mhealth pilot research projects and small studies have been conducted, those limiting generalizability

Objective:

The objective of the project is to provide an overview about the current impact of mHealth applications and innovative strategies in improving large-scale (population-based) immunization coverage and maternal- child health service delivery in African countries

Methods:

Peer-reviewed papers were identified from Medline/PubMed, Google scholar and mHealthEvidence database via a combination of search terms

Results:

A total of 1217 articles were found of which only 17 met the inclusion criteria and were included in the project. Our findings indicates that there is some evidence on the potential of mHealth applications benefitsin increasing childhood immunization awareness, retention, coverage and effectiveness as well as maternal- child quality care delivery and outcomes

Conclusions:

Building robust and resilient government and stakeholders leadership, committed partnerships and platform is crucial in investing on large-scale and sustainable ownership of mhealth policies and programs, adequate infrastructure, building capacity and mHealth/eHealth management implementation in strengthening health systems. Moreover, addressing inherent issues of mhealth interoperatibility, patient data privacy. confidentiality and security is needed for socio-economic benefits, cost-effective digital landscape public health solutions and gains across African countries