Healthcare advice via text

Objective: To improve access to maternal-infant healthcare in rural areas

In rural areas, health centers may be located far away from many communities. This makes it difficult to monitor pregnancies and guide women through the different stages of care required. Help Peru partners with Programa Mama to promote maternal-infant health in rural areas of Ayacucho and Lambayeque. Their initiative to offer better care starts with inviting pregnant women and mothers of children up to 3 years-old to subscribe to receive weekly text messages. The texts include healthcare advice that is specific to their week of gestation, or the age of their children.

This program has improved the amount of institutionalized babies’ deliveries, as well as the rate of children vaccinations in these Peruvian departments. During the pandemic the program has shifted most of its messages to promote a better understanding of Covid-19 and how to prevent it.

Given the impact of the pandemic on family economies, and the resulting increase in poverty in Peru, a sharp increase in anemia and chronic child malnutrition is expected. Therefore, in 2021, the text messaging strategy will be adapted to register children who are beneficiaries of social programs linked to schools and local governments. The goal of these messages is to promote healthy practices and better monitoring of children’s growth through health centers.

For more information please visit www.mama.org.pe.