Patient-centered mobile technology interventions to improve maternal health in Uganda (M-Health)

  • Acronym: M-Health
  • Effective start/end date: September 16th, 2019 April 30th, 2023
  • Funder: National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Type: Research and Innovation


Overview: Antenatal care (ANC) is a mainstay of preventing maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality but utilization of these services in Uganda remains low. Consequently, maternal and perinatal mortality rates are among the highest in the world. Short message service (SMS) and other mobile health (mHealth) interventions have been proposed to promote positive health behavior and strengthen informed decision-making for women in the perinatal period. Such interventions are hypothesized to improve outcomes through knowledge transfer and strengthened access to social support. However, few evaluations of mHealth interventions to improve maternal care have been conducted in sub-Saharan Africa, where social and contextual factors that drive successful interventions differ, and where the public health impact of such interventions is likely to be great. Few studies have also examined theory-informed methods to develop interventions to maximize end-user acceptability.


– We propose to conduct a qualitative study to identify barriers and facilitators to women’s engagement in ANC, decisions to deliver in health facilities, and characterize their preferences for an mHealth-based, social support intervention.

– We develop and iteratively evaluate this intervention based on these qualitative results.

– We pilot test this novel intervention to assess feasibility, acceptability and preliminary efficacy to improve ANC utilization and skilled births


  • Dr. Esther Cathyln Atukunda (PI)



Wilson Tumuhimbise1 , Esther C Atukunda1 , Sandrah Ayebaza1 , Jane Katusiime1 , Godfrey Mugyenyi1 , Niels Pinkwart2 , Angella Musiimenta1, 3 . (2020) . Maternal health-related barriers and the potentials of mobile health technologies: Qualitative findings from a pilot randomized controlled trial in rural Southwestern Uganda . pubmed, [online] Volume . Available at: