HARNESSING MOBILE TECHNOLOGY TO EMPOWER WOMEN AS HEALTH CONSUMERS

Helping women plan and safely space their pregnancies is the most effective way to reduce maternal and newborn deaths. Yet almost 20% of married women in Kenya have an unmet need for modern contraceptives.

What options do women need?

Too often, women don’t know what family planning options are available or how to get the services they need or prefer. In some cases, health providers are also unwilling to offer a mix of contraceptive options and services due to their own preferences.

Women are more likely to use family planning if they have access to a full range of options and the information they need to make the right choice for them.

What types of solutions can have a far-reaching impact?

MSD for Mothers in collaboration with the Population Council, started a social enterprise called Nivi, which provides a simple mobile phone-based service. Through Nivi, women are able to make more informed decisions about their health, and are empowered to use this information to hold providers accountable to the women they serve.