Impact of m-health application used by community health volunteers on improving utilisation of maternal, new-born and child health care services in a rural area of Uttar Pradesh, India

Trop Med Int Health. 2017 Jul;22(7):895-907. doi: 10.1111/tmi.12895. Epub 2017 Jun 13.


Objective: To raise the quality of counselling by community health volunteers resulting in improved uptake of maternal, neonatal and child health services (MNCH), an m-health application was introduced under a project named 'Reducing Maternal and Newborn Deaths (ReMiND)' in district Kaushambi in India. We report the impact of this project on coverage of key MNCH services.

Methods: A pre- and post-quasi-experimental design was undertaken to assess the impact of intervention. This project was introduced in two community development blocks in Kaushambi district in 2012. Two other blocks from the same district were selected as controls after matching for coverage of two indicators at baseline - antenatal care and institutional deliveries. The Annual Health Survey conducted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in 2011 served as pre-intervention data, whereas a household survey in four blocks of Kaushambi district in 2015 provided post-intervention coverage of key services. Propensity score matched samples from intervention and control areas in pre-intervention and post-intervention periods were analysed using difference-in-difference method to estimate the impact of ReMiND project.

Results: We found a statistically significant increase in coverage of iron-folic acid supplementation (12.58%), self-reporting of complication during pregnancy (13.11%) and after delivery (19.6%) in the intervention area. The coverage of three or more antenatal care visits, tetanus toxoid vaccination, full antenatal care and ambulance usage increased in intervention area by 10.3%, 4.28%, 1.1% and 2.06%, respectively; however, the changes were statistically insignificant.

Conclusion: Three of eight services which were targeted for improvement under ReMiND project registered a significant improvement as result of m-health intervention.

Keywords: agent de santé communautaire; agentes comunitarios de salud; community health worker; e-salud; evaluación del impacto; impact assessment; m-Health; m-health; maternal and child health; salud materno-infantil; santé maternelle et infantile; évaluation d'impact.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Community Health Workers*
  • Counseling / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • India
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Maternal-Child Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Program Evaluation / methods*
  • Rural Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Telemedicine / methods*
  • Volunteers