The MomConnect mHealth initiative in South Africa: Early impact on the supply side of MCH services

J Public Health Policy. 2016 Nov;37(Suppl 2):201-212. doi: 10.1057/s41271-016-0015-2.


MomConnect is an mHealth initiative giving pregnant women information via SMS. We report on an analysis of the compliments and especially complaints component of the feedback. We scrutinised the electronic databases containing information on the first seventeen months of operation of MomConnect. During this time, 583,929 pregnant women were registered on MomConnect, representing approximately 46 per cent of pregnant women booking their pregnancy in the public sector in South Africa. These women gave feedback on services received: 4173 compliments and 690 complaints. Nearly three quarters (74 per cent) of all complaints were resolved. The complaints were classified into those related to health services (29 per cent), staff (22 per cent), health systems (42 per cent) and other (6 per cent). These complaints were fed back to managers in the health facilities. This has resulted in improvements in the quality of services, e.g. decreased drug stock-outs and change of behaviour of some health workers.

Keywords: mHealth; maternal and child health; quality of care; supply side.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Phone
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Maternal-Child Health Services / organization & administration
  • Maternal-Child Health Services / supply & distribution*
  • Pregnancy
  • South Africa
  • Telemedicine / methods*