Impact of mobile health on maternal and child health service utilization and continuum of care in Northern Ghana

Impact of mobile health on maternal and child health service utilization and continuum of care in Northern Ghana

This review followed the common tips for reporting quasi-experimental studies working with the Transparent Reporting of Evaluations with Nonrandomized Layout/Quasi-Experimental Study Structure (Trend).

We ensure that all solutions were being carried out in accordance with applicable pointers and regulations and in accordance with the declaration of Helsinki.

Study type

A quasi-experimental examine with retrospective documents review was performed at some picked health amenities in the Savanah Area in between January 2019 and May possibly 2019. A knowledge extraction instrument was utilised to extract details from antenatal, shipping, and postnatal care registers in the Sawla-Tuna-Kalba (intervention web site) and Bole (comparison) districts, all in the Savannah Region.

Study location

The research was carried out at Kalba, Sawla, Tuna, and Gindabo Health Centres in the Sawla-Tuna-Kalba district as the review internet sites and Mankuma, Bole, Bamboi, and Mwandari Well being Centres in the Bole District of the Savannah Area of Ghana as the comparison internet sites. The control district was chosen purposively dependent on sure related features it shares with the intervention district. The two districts ended up one particular until 2004 when the Sawla-Tuna-Kalba district was carved out of the Bole district. Hence, they are twin districts. Both districts share boundaries with La’cote Dvore, they are both equally cosmopolitan districts with the inhabitants in equally built up of Gonjas, Brifors, Vaglas, Dagaabas, Mos, and Lobis. The principal economic climate within just these two districts is farming. The settlements and lifestyle of these two districts are comparable.

Sawla-Tuna-Kalba district is 1 of the 7 districts in the Savannah Area of Ghana. It has a complete population of 125,525 (projections from the 2010 Populace and Housing Census) with 278 communities. It shares boundaries to South, with Bole District, to the North, with Wa West District in the Higher West Location, West Gonja District to the east, and to the west La cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso. The district has 22 health services with a person polyclinic, seven Wellness Centres, and 14 CHPS amenities. Two of these services are privately owned with 3 underneath the Christian Health Affiliation of Ghana (CHAG) and the relaxation below the Ghana Overall health Company.

The Bole district on the other hand is in the western corridor of the Savannah area of Ghana. It has a populace of 77,422 (projections from the 2010 Inhabitants and Housing Census) with 187 communities. It shares borders with La cote d’Ivoire to the West, Tain district to the south, West Gonja Municipal and Central Gonja District to the east, and Sawla-Tuna-Kalba District to the North. The major cities in the district are Bole, Bamboi, Mwandari, Mankuma, Jama, and Tinga with Bole as the district money. The district has 1 District Healthcare facility, 7 Health and fitness Centres (a person owned by CHAG), and eighteen CHPS facilities.

The regulate overall health facilities inside the districts ended up purposively selected centered on particular characteristics they share with the intervention wellness amenities. Amongst them is the cadre of staff members these as Physician assistants, Midwives, local community overall health nurses, general nurses, and so forth. Also, the places of the amenities were being taken into consideration, e.g. Kalba health middle in the intervention district share boundary with La cote d’Ivoire likewise Mwandari Wellbeing Centre in the comparison district. Thought was also provided to the stage of prescription of the facility, that is, all the wellbeing amenities (intervention and manage) were being at the same degree of standard classification of the wellness method to lower assortment bias.

Result actions

The primary final result measures in this review are follows: number of ANC attendance, facility supply (coded indeed or no), range of postnatal care attendance and continuum of care. The continuum of care was outlined as the proportion of moms who attended ANC (8 or more), had facility-based mostly delivery, and attended write-up-natal care within just the initial 24 hours publish-shipping.


Our major exposure of fascination is the T4MCH intervention. Technologies for maternal and child well being (T4MCH) is an intervention launched to assist in escalating MCH solutions utilization in some well being amenities across Ghana by using the shipping of SMS/voice messages to expecting women of all ages. The intervention is novel with the very first SMS/Voice concept produced and sent to the pregnant females in the 4 health services on 1st August 2017.

This intervention was funded and executed by the Savana Signatures. Savana Signatures is an NGO primarily based in Tamale in the Northern Location of Ghana. They are funded by World wide Affairs Canada and the guide spouse, Salsan, which has set collectively a consortium that combines the prosperous attributes of T4MCH, with improvements from Mustimuhw Information Options.

The intervention works through a intended mobile application acknowledged as SGS collect. The app allows wellness personnel to gather particular information of pregnant girls attending antenatal companies by means of a smartphone on to a platform referred to as Kpododo. In addition, the app provides weekly SMS to literate women of all ages in English and voice messages for non-literate gals in their preferred language to frequently teach and remind them of MCH providers at least two times a 7 days. The information of the information incorporates the require for attending MCH providers, the precise date and time to stop by well being amenities, and typical schooling on self-treatment and being pregnant hazard aversion.

It also has the Understanding Sharing Classes (KSS) part in which wellbeing workers undertake wellbeing training on Maternal and Youngster Health services both equally at the community level and the facility applying audio-visual aids this kind of as notebook computer systems and projectors as perfectly as a general public tackle process. This also supplies a system for moms to share suggestions with a single one more on MCH difficulties.

Health employees in the project place acquired ICT applications these kinds of as cellular telephones, laptop personal computers, projectors, and general public tackle programs. They also received training on the efficient use of ICT resources to structure, package, and successfully communicate maternal wellbeing content to ladies.

The venture was piloted in 2011 and went into its 1st implementation phase from 2012 to 2014 in larger hospitals in Tamale and some districts in the Northern region. In 2015, it was scaled up to 5 supplemental scaled-down amenities in the Northern location, and by 2016 the undertaking beneficiaries had greater to 33 health and fitness amenities throughout the 3 northern areas of Ghana.

Goal inhabitants

The intervention specific all pregnant women of all ages who had their first ANC stop by in the intervention services. Therefore, the emphasis of this analyze is to consider the affect of the intervention on ladies who did their first ANC visits at the facilities situated inside of the intervention communities.


To assess the impact of the intervention on the most important end result actions, the adhering to variables ended up modified for in all the multivariable regression analyses: age in years, marital position, educational degree of moms, occupation, parity, gestation at registration, and distance to the wellbeing facility.

Sampling design

All ANC registrants’ data obtainable for the very first 2 months (August 1, 2017, to September 30, 2017) of implementation of the intervention in all the four employing services were reviewed retrospectively from antenatal as a result of to shipping and delivery and postnatal. 4 other amenities related to the intervention amenities had been purposively sampled in the comparison district. All documents of ANC registrants in the same period of time were reviewed retrospectively from antenatal by means of shipping to postnatal. In all, 530 ANC registrant’s information had been reviewed out of which 469 with entire details (263 research group and 206 comparison group) were employed for the research. Facts extraction was accomplished employing a well-made details extraction software. This tool was divided into a few components: demographic history, wellbeing facility features, and wellness facility utilization. The demographic qualities incorporate age, level of training, marital status, parity, and profession. The wellness facility qualities integrated proximity to wellness facility and staffing. On the other hand, the wellness facility utilization consisted of the amount of antenatal care attendance, institutional delivery, and the quantity of postnatal visits. Details were extracted from antenatal, shipping and delivery, postnatal registers, and ANC records booklet of clients with the help of trained exploration assistants. This study was presented a formal waiver for the need to have for consent by the Ghana Health and fitness Services Ethics Evaluate Committee of the Analysis and Progress Division.

Statistical examination

The data was entered and cleaned through MS Excel and exported to Stata MP model 17 (StataCorp LP, Texas, United states of america) for evaluation. Pearson’s Chi-sq. and Fisher’s precise examination studies had been utilised to evaluate the association concerning antenatal visits, put of shipping and delivery, postnatal visits, socio-demographic properties, and the intervention. (T)-examination statistic was also utilised to evaluate the suggest age at ANC registration among the intervention and the comparison groups. The research approximated average remedy effects (ATEs) of the intervention for the variety of antenatal care attendance, proficient delivery, and postnatal companies utilization employing the doubly sturdy process (augmented inverse-chance weights (AIPW), and via matching on the propensity score). The decision of these doubly robust influence analysis tactics emanated from the examine design and style. This is not a ahead of and following analyze mainly because no baseline data was gathered prior to the implementation of the intervention. Because of this limitation, we used a much more demanding impression evaluation statistical solutions these types of as matching approaches and inverse chance weighting solutions that could be used to quantify the affect of health and fitness interventions in the absence of baseline info.

In the ATE or the intention to take care of (ITT) estimate, all girls registering at the intervention services had been taken care of as acquiring obtained the T4MCH intervention, regardless of no matter whether they signed up to receive the intervention or not, that is, we outlined as (ITT=mathrmAverage[mathrmY(mathrmi,1)-mathrmY(mathrmi,0)]) where by (mathrmY(mathrmi,1)) is the estimate of the consequence measure for beneficiary (i) who visited the intervention services and (mathrmY(mathrmi,)) is the counterfactual state of affairs. We did not carry out for every-protocol examination (average therapy outcome on the taken care of) as our principal aim was to ascertain the average affect of a program on the populace focused by the software.

We executed balancing diagnostics to identify no matter whether the matching enhanced covariate similarity index among the intervention and controlled review participants working with a kernel density plot that compares the distribution of the propensity scores before and immediately after matching. Considering that unique impact estimation methods might result in different affect estimates, we performed a sensitivity evaluation to present or demonstrate that even when a distinctive estimation technique is utilized, we will continue to comprehend a constructive impression or normally of the proposed intervention. The following sensitivity analyses had been carried out: inverse-likelihood-weighted regression adjustment (IPWRA), 1:1, 1:2, 1:3 nearest neighbour matching, and propensity rating matching. We modeled the quantity of ANC and PNC making use of the Poisson regression model with strong normal mistake to account for clustering at the facility degree. Because the location of shipping and delivery is a binary indicator consequence evaluate, the logistic regression design was applied. The baseline features of system beneficiaries normally differ systematically from all those of non-beneficiaries, hence, we accounted for systematic differences in baseline features among T4MCH intervention beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries when estimating the effect of the intervention on results of interest. We adopted matching procedures to minimize the covariate imbalance involving the intervention and control groups considering that our knowledge originate from an observational (or nonrandomized) review design and style (Fig. 1).

Determine 1
figure 1

Kenel density of the propensity scores before and after matching for intervention and control populations.

This analyze emphasizes the use of the sizing of the effect estimates and not the p values of the estimates dependent on the advice from the American Statistical Association which states that scientific conclusions and company or plan selections should really not be centered only on no matter whether a p value or statistical importance passes a unique threshold and a p worth, or statistical importance, does not evaluate the size of an impact or the value of a outcome and a p worth does not supply a superior measure of evidence with regards to a model or hypothesis7.

Moral approval

Moral clearance to conduct the analyze was provided by the Ghana Well being Service Ethics Critique Committee of the Investigation and Enhancement Division right before the info selection. The approval reference is GHS-ERC 036/03/19. Permission was also granted by the District Administrators of Well being Expert services and Wellbeing Facility In-prices of the respective districts wherever the details was collected. The details reviewed ended up used solely for this investigate. We point out that knowledgeable consent was not relevant in this research as we only analyzed secondary info from people data that had been de-recognized. The Ghana Overall health Service Ethics Critique Committee permitted the analyze soon after very carefully examining all the protocols. Authorization was as well sought from the Sawla-Tuna-Kalba and Bole district wellbeing directorates.