Effects of mHealth Nursing Intervention on Uptake of Antenatal Care and Pregnancy Drugs Among Pregnant Women Attendees of PHC in Oyo State.
Maternal mortality is high in Nigeria especially in the rural areas due to knowledge deficit about expected care and labour process, socio-cultural belief, healthcare workers’ attitude, and physical and financial barriers to quality healthcare access. Mobile health (mhealth) technology which is the use of mobile communication devices in healthcare delivery, is intended to reduce costs, improve care access, remove time and distance barriers, and facilitate patient- provider communications needed to make appropriate health decisions. Globally, the effect of mhealth on health outcomes has been explored but there exists a literature dearth about its use on maternal health issues in Nigeria. Methods: This comparison study carried out in four randomly selected Local Government Areas across Oyo South Senatorial district involved pregnant women in comparison groups. One group of pregnant women (191 women) had a mobile health nursing intervention in which mobile telephones were given to nurses and pregnant women to facilitate communication (intervention group) while the control group of 192 women continued with the regular traditional care. Over an 8-month period, women in the intervention group received free voice calls and health promotion text messages from nurses. Uptake of antenatal care attendance, Intermittent Preventive Treatment of malaria in Pregnancy (IPTp) and Tetanus Toxoids (TT) was monitored throughout the follow-up period in both groups. An outcome evaluation checklist was used to document utilisation and completion of the three indices among pregnant women. Results: The study revealed a statistically significant difference in antenatal clinic (ANC) attendance (66.8% versus 53.1%, p=0.006) and uptake of IPTp (47.6% versus 18.4%, p<0.001); although there was an improved uptake of Tetanus Toxoids (TT) between intervention (64.5%) and control groups (54.1%) this was not significant. Significantly more women in the intervention group who completed ANC had IPTp (OR: 14.9, CI: 6.3-35.7) and TT (OR: 8.2, CI: 1.7-39.9) than those who did not complete the ANC. Conclusion: Improved uptake of Antenatal Care Attendance, Intermittent Preventive Treatment of malaria in pregnancy, and tetanus toxoids occurs as a result of mHealth, and is beneficial for health promotion, and prevention and early identification of diseases resulting in maternal and child mortality reduction in Nigeria.
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