Impact of mHealth Interventions for Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and Nutrition at Scale: BBC Media Action and the Ananya Program in Bihar, India

Impact of mHealth Interventions for Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and Nutrition at Scale: BBC Media Action and the Ananya Program in Bihar, India

Published: Dec 19, 2020
Publisher: Journal of Global Health, vol. 10, no. 2
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Authors

Victoria C. Ward

Hina Raheel

Yingjie Weng

Kala M. Mehta

Priyanka Dutt

Radharani Mitra

Padmapriya Sastry

Anna Godfrey

Melissa Shannon

Sara Chamberlain

Rajani Kaimal

Suzan L. Carmichael

Jason Bentley

Safa Abdalla

Kevin T. Pepper

Tanmay Mahapatra Sridhar Srikantiah

Priya Nanda

Usha Kiran Tarigopula

Yamini Atmavilas

Debarshi Bhattacharya

Gary L. Darmstadt

Ananya Study Group

Background

Mobile health (mHealth) tools have potential for improving the reach and quality of health information and services through community health workers in low- and middle-income countries. This study evaluates the impact of an mHealth tool implemented at scale as part of the statewide reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health and nutrition (RMNCHN) program in Bihar, India.

Methods

Three survey-based data sets were analysed to compare the health-related knowledge, attitudes and behaviours amongst childbearing women exposed to the Mobile Kunji and Dr. Anita mHealth tools during their visits with frontline workers compared with those who were unexposed.

Results

An evaluation by Mathematica (2014) revealed that exposure to Mobile Kunji and Dr. Anita recordings were associated with significantly higher odds of consuming iron-folic acid tablets (odds ratio (OR) = 2.3, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.8-3.1) as well as taking a set of three measures for delivery preparedness (OR = 2.8, 95% CI = 1.9-4.2) and appropriate infant complementary feeding (OR = 1.9, 95% CI = 1.0-3.5). CARE India’s Community-based Household Surveys (2012-2017) demonstrated significant improvements in early breastfeeding (OR = 1.64, 95% CI = 1.5-1.78) and exclusive breastfeeding (OR = 1.46, 95% CI = 1.33-1.62) in addition to birth preparedness practices. BBC Media Action’s Usage & Engagement Survey (2014) demonstrated a positive association between exposure to Mobile Kunji and Dr. Anita and exclusive breastfeeding (58% exposed vs 43% unexposed, P < 0.01) as well as maternal respondents’ trust in their frontline worker.

Conclusions

Significant improvements in RMNCHN-related knowledge and behaviours were observed for Bihari women who were exposed to Mobile Kunji and Dr. Anita. This analysis is unique in its rigorous evaluation across multiple data sets of mHealth interventions implemented at scale. These results can help inform global understanding of how best to use mHealth tools, for whom, and in what contexts.

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