Anova assists in training healthcare workers on MomConnect

Anova is supporting the National Department of Health (NDoH) in implementing MomConnect National Pregnancy Registry.

The Anova Health Institute has trained staff at 51 facilities in regions C, D, E and G in Gauteng, readying them for the rollout of Government’s new mobile health initiative for expectant mothers, MomConnect.

Anova’s prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) and Health Systems Advisory Services (HSAS) teams have come together to help ensure that clinic staff can assist mothers in registering for the new MomConnect SMS-based service. “As Anova, we’re proud to be helping facilitate the use of this important multi-faceted service,” said PMTCT specialist at Anova, Dr Carol Tait.

MomConnect uses SMS text messages to remind pregnant women of critical appointments for tests and check-ups, and to deliver health and childcare information. It is ultimately aimed at improving the maternal and under five mortality rate in South Africa by providing essential information via SMS during pregnancy and for a year after, for free.

The nationwide service also functions as a registry, which allows it to also do the job of providing government with feedback on key maternal and child health indicators. “Having data on indicators like antenatal attendance, immunisation and mother and infant HIV testing, will allow policymakers to assess whether MomConnect is having the desired effect," added Tait.

In addition, mothers will also be able to rate the service they receive at clinics, allowing for opportunities to improve service delivery in antenatal clinics.

Launched in August, MomConnect is currently available in English, Afrikaans, Zulu, Xhosa and Setswana, with plans to eventually expand the service to include all 11 official languages. Any phone capable of receiving and sending SMSes can be used to access MomConnect.

You can register for the app by dialling *134*550# on your mobile phone.

Initially piloted in KwaZulu-Natal, the MomConnect service is now available nationwide.

The U.S. Government, through the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program has invested $4.9 million towards MomConnect.


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