Madagascar unveils SMS plan to prevent maternal deathsBy RIVONALA RAZAFISON in Antananarivo | Thursday, June 21 2012 at 10:38
Madagascar has launched Short Message Service project to curb maternal mortality in rural areas.
A total of $200,000 has been set aside to implement the project in four regions deemed as red zones.
This initiative is being facilitated by Malagasy Ministry of Public Health in collaboration with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Telma mobile phone operator.
About 500 health-care facilities will be equipped with mobile phones to let health workers transmit relevant information over the situation on the ground.
Gathering accurate information on the maternal and child health will be used to build useful database.
The initiative also aims at improving obstetric care service in the rural districts.
“The use of SMS will let us continuously and precisely follow up the occurrence of deaths and to monitor the impacts of the efforts done by the authorities, the communities, and partners,” Mr Jozef Maerien, the UNFPA representative, said at the launch ceremony held in the capital Antananarivo on Monday.
Maternal mortality is unacceptably high in the island nation according to reports. About 21 per cent of the 4 million women in their reproductive age die from pregnancy- or childbirth-related complications every day.
Madagascar is also one of the 13 sub-Saharan African countries with low use of contraception among poor women resulting in unplanned pregnancies.
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