The Department of Health will this Women’s Month launch a project which seeks to register all pregnant women in the country for an “sms” service which provides information and aice on pregnancy, as well as a channel to notify them about poor service.
“I am happy to announce that during Women’s Month, on 21 August 2014, we shall launch the MomConnect Project. MomConnect will seek to register by cellphone all the pregnant women in any one year in our country,” said Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi on Wednesday.
He was tabling the department’s budget vote in Parliament.
Through MomConnect, all the registered pregnant women will receive “sms” messages appropriate to their stage of pregnancy.
These messages will aise them as to what to do at any stage of their pregnancy.
It will also encourage them to start ante-natal care early, test for things like hypertension, HIV and Aids and diabetes very early in their pregnancy as well as emphasise preventing mother to child transmission at 14 weeks.
The minister said the project will ensure that pregnant women are not just passive recipients of healthcare but active participants in claiming healthcare from public health facilities.
“The women will also be able to send us sms messages at no cost to themselves (as a please call me), to inform us of their concerns and experiences in our healthcare facilities.”
He said the campaign will be taken to all districts to inform nurses that pregnant women will have the power to demand good treatment.
The minister warned health workers that the implications of MomConnect are that they will be faced with one million connected women.
After delivering their babies, new moms will continue to get SMS messages for up to a year.
“Only that this time, the “sms” messages will include aice on the baby – like exclusive breastfeeding, immunisation, family planning for the mother, oral rehydration during diarrhoea, check-up periods at the clinic etc,” explained Minister Motsoaledi.
Source : SAnews.gov.za