SMS text messages are improving the lives of mothers-to-be and their newborns in Cameroon. The first mobile health platform in Central Africa, Gifted Mom sends a short message to mothers with details of their next antenatal appointment as well as medical advice.
Because 17 per cent of women are illiterate, Gifted Mom also uses voice technology in four of traditionally spoken languages to communicate with pregnant women and mothers. Low cost technologies like google fusion tables mean that women’s vaccinations schedules can be reported, analysed and tracked in real time.
The service is proving crucial in a country where one in five pregnant women never attend their Antenatal Care (ANC) appointments and there are over 590 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in the country, one of the highest ratios in Africa and the world. These statistics are largely due to a lack of knowledge about the importance of attending antenatal appointments and the importance of getting newborns vaccinated.
Alain Nteff, who was just 20 years old when he came up with idea of Gifted Mom, won the pan-African Anzisha Prize in 2015, which celebrates young problem-solving entrepreneurs. He plans to develop the project further, and hopes to be active in ten countries by 2017.
Nteff Alain, Founder