Simplifying how mothers get health information
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems are a useful tool for delivering health information. PHB has been using it for its “Good Families Raise Smart Kids” intervention in which mothers are encouraged to sign up for automatic scheduled phone calls with recorded messages on preparing for their delivery and caring for their newborns, remind mothers to perform specific key behaviors related to nutrition, ANC and PNC, breastfeeding, etc.
While we received good feedback from mothers and midwives about how the IVR system helped pregnant women and new mothers to improve their and their newborn’s health and nutrition, there are also concerns regarding accessibility and cost effectiveness.
CUTTING DOWN ON THE HASSLE AND COST
The PHB team thus initiated a different approach to ensure women have access to the information at their convenience, reduce the management burden and cost of the intervention, and thus enhance the chance for scale and sustainability. The new approach uses videos uploaded to a YouTube playlist and the health centers encourage women to scan the QR code provided by the project to access the playlist which they can play anytime.
TEAMING UP WITH MIDWIVES
This approach is so simple and effective that it is being incorporated into another PHB SBC intervention focusing on breastfeeding. The new intervention called “Hero Moms” will work with midwives from 40 health centers in Phnom Penh.
To start the intervention, a three-day workshop was organized in January 2024 on “Tools for Social Behavior Change (SBC) on Maternal & Child Health and Nutrition” in which the midwives gain practical skills in using the SBC materials of the intervention during one-on-one (or group) consultations with pregnant women and new mothers and introduce them to the YouTube video playlist on breastfeeding, maternal and child health, and nutrition. This workshop also helped midwives gain a better understanding of nutrition during pregnancy, the importance of skin-to-skin contact with their newborns, breastfeeding practices, complementary feeding, and the developmental stages and development of children.