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Tanzania’s Healthy Pregnancy Text Message Service Reaches 100,000 Subscribers in 15 Weeks
Date:3/28/2013

liked the helpful tips, including the importance of attending clinics regularly. I was able to learn about the need for testing and malaria prevention. I feel that it benefited me to know these things. I was able to go and deliver my baby safely since my baby was born healthy and without malaria. This service has also assisted my husband to better understand what I was going through during my pregnancy, so that he could be of greater assistance to me according to my needs.”

Eliza works as a housekeeper in Dar es Salaam and considers herself privileged when it comes to receiving information. She reads the newspapers and listens to radio. The housekeeper believes the service will especially be useful to women in remote areas as many have a mobile phone. “Many people, especially those living in rural areas, are not realizing how important it is to visit clinics”, she states. “They just don’t receive as much education and information as we do a big city. Newspapers are scarce there and not everyone has a radio. It also does not cost anything to get these text messages. So anyone can get the information from the Wazazi Nipendeni text messaging service. It will benefit many people, because it reaches all regions around the country.”

Government led initiative
Tanzania is a large country, it almost 900,000 square kilometers big. The country is approaching a population of 44 million. Current reports show that there are over 25 million mobile phone subscribers in our country. Tanzania registers the highest average number of text messages sent per month per subscriber in East Africa. The use of text messaging (SMS) doubled over the past few years to almost 5 billion messages in 2012. The mobile technology is therefore recognized by the ministry as a useful tool to offer crucial healthy pregnancy and safe motherhood information to even the most remote pregnant woman and her supporters.

Dr. Mwendwa E. Mwenesi M.D, M.A- Health Policy, Planning and
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