Purpose: This study examines the acceptability of SMS Maama, a mobile health (mHealth) intervention for maternal health in Kampala, Uganda. Design: A qualitative study was conducted with thematic analysis methodology to identify aspects that contribute to success in mHealth maternal health interventions in an urban setting in sub Saharan Africa. Method: Focus groups were used with 30 women to examine perceptions of mHealth program structure design, patterns of seeking care, and knowledge of pregnancy. Results: Prominent themes addressed in groups include knowledge of pregnancy, healthy nutritional intake, program design, seeking care and information, and partner antenatal care (ANC) attendance. Discussion: Women responded positively to the design of the program and emphasized the need for a service that addresses their feelings of fear, confusion around nutritional information, and frustration with the logistics of attending ANC. Policy Implications: Even though mHealth is an increasingly popular modality of care, there is a lack of international policy guidelines and best practices necessary to run mHealth programs in maternal health in developing countries. Conclusion: SMS Maama is an acceptable model for literate women with access to mobile phones in urban settings in Uganda, and potentially other urban settings in East Africa.
Professional paper for the fulfillment of the Master of Public Policy degree.
Assessing Acceptability of a Mobile Health Intervention: SMS Maama Maternal Health Program in Kampala, Uganda.
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