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First Timor-Leste Mobile Health Project Launched in Manufahi

Posted: Mar 19, 2013 · Posted by: Susan Thompson, Director of Timor-Leste Operations

Same Vila, Timor-Leste, March 12, 2013Health Alliance International (HAI) announces the introduction of a new mobile phone "mHealth" project with the Ministry of Health in Manufahi District. The Liga Inan ("Mobile Moms") project, funded by USAID's Child Survival and Health Grants Program, aims to facilitate communication between midwives and the pregnant women using mobile phones and SMS.

The mobile service was designed and developed by Catalpa International, a mobile and software development Company focused on developing technical solutions in low resource settings. The system sends maternal health-related text messages twice weekly to pregnant women enrolled in the project.  The system also facilitates contact between pregnant or postpartum women and their midwives, including regular phone contact around the time of delivery. Over 180 women have been enrolled in the project since the February 18 launch.

The midwives in Same subdistrict were the first to be trained in their roles in the project.  "It was great to see how quickly the midwives learnt to use the new technology, and I was impressed with how eager they were to use Liga Inan to keep in touch with their patients," reported Anders Hofstee, Executive Director of Catalpa International. Paul Vasconcelos, HAI's Liga Inan manager, said he believes that the project has the potential to improve the understanding of pregnant women about how to safeguard their pregnancies and the health of their newborns. 

The project, the first of its kind in Timor-Leste, aims to improve birth outcomes in the district.  After two years, the use of midwives for full antenatal care and delivery will be compared with rates in other districts where the Liga Inan project is not implemented. More information about Liga Inan can be found at the project website at www.ligainan.org.

 Health Alliance International is a nongovernmental organization and a center in the University of Washington's Department of Global Health based in Seattle, USA, that has been engaged in health efforts in Timor-Leste since early 1999. 

Contact:

Susan Thompson thompssu@uw.edu

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