Using Short Message Service Alerts to Increase Antenatal Care and Malaria Prevention: Findings from Implementation Research Pilot in Guinea

Rebecca Mann Flueckiger International Development Group, RTI International, Atlanta, Georgia;

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Diallo M. Thierno StopPalu+, RTI International, Conakry, Guinea;

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Rajeev Colaço International Development Group, RTI International, Washington, District of Columbia;

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Timothée Guilavogui National Malaria Control Program, Ministry of Health, Conakry, Guinea;

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Lamine Bangoura President’s Malaria Initiative, US Agency for International Development, Conakry, Guinea;

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Richard Reithinger International Development Group, RTI International, Washington, District of Columbia;

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Elizabeth Regan Fitch International Development Group, RTI International, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina

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Jean-Luc Taton StopPalu+, RTI International, Conakry, Guinea;

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Aissata Fofana StopPalu+, RTI International, Conakry, Guinea;

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Intermittent preventive treatment with sulfadoxine–pyrimethamine (SP) is recommended to prevent malaria in pregnancy. Treatment coverage, particularly for three or more doses, is dependent on pregnant women attending antenatal care (ANC) services as scheduled. The StopPalu project pilot tested short message services (SMSs) to remind women of upcoming ANC visits in the Conakry and Kindia regions of Guinea. Health facilities were selected as pilot and comparison facilities. All women who attended an initial ANC visit at a selected facility during the pilot period and had access to a mobile telephone were enrolled. The pilot group was sent an SMS before each appointment. Percentage of attendance and SP distribution were calculated. A log-binomial regression model determined odds ratios. Pregnant women receiving SMS were 48 times more likely to attend all visits and were 12 times more likely to receive all SP doses during pregnancy.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Rebecca Mann Flueckiger, Global Health Division, International Development Group, RTI International, 2987 Clairmont Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA 30329. E-mail: rflueckiger@rti.org

Financial support: Funding for this study was through support provided to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Guinea StopPalu (Cooperative Agreement number AID-675-A-13-00005) project by the President’s Malaria Initiative via the USAID.

Authors’ addresses: Rebecca Mann Flueckiger, International Development Group, RTI International, Atlanta, GA, E-mail: rflueckiger@rti.org. Diallo M. Thierno, Jean-Luc Taton, and Aissata Fofana, StopPalu+, RTI International, Conakry, Guinea, E-mails: tbdiallo@stoppalu.rti.org, jtaton@rti.org, and afofana@rti.org. Rajeev Colaço and Richard Reithinger, International Development Group, RTI International, Washington, DC, E-mail: rcolaco@rti.org and rreithinger@yahoo.co.uk. Timothée Guilavogui, National Malaria Control Program, Ministry of Health, Conakry, Guinea, E-mail: gui_timothee@yahoo.fr. Lamine Bangoura, President’s Malaria Initiative, US Agency for International Development, Conakry, Guinea, E-mail: lbangoura@usaid.gov. Elizabeth Regan Fitch, International Development Group, RTI International, Research Triangle Park, NC, E-mail: eregan@rti.org.

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