Mama na Mwana: Improving maternal and neonatal health services

Launched: September 2016

The Mama na Mwana (Mother & Child) is an mHealth initiative with the objective to substantially contribute to a reduction in maternal, neonatal and postnatal mortality in Tanzania.Using mobile surveys to systematically and consistently gather feedback on the quality of care experienced by service recipients (prospective and new mothers), the initiative aims to provide evidence that will inform quality improvement for RMNCH services.  The findings will present a quantitative measure of overall quality of services over an array of indicators covering administrative and clinical areas recommended practice. The initiative was piloted in September 2016 in Mbarali, Mbeya Region and scale up began in April 2017, targeting the whole of Mbeya, Songwe and Njombe Regions. 

Currently, data is collected using RapidPro surveys administered over Short Message Service (SMS) with plans to extend it to Interactive Voice Response (IVR). The surveys are scheduled to coincide with the four visit model of the national focused antenatal care guidelines, and two post-natal visits. After each visit, mothers are asked whether or not they received interventions according to the recommended practice, and their overall satisfaction with the service. RapidPro campaigns are used to handle the scheduling and trigger the appropriate round of questioning an enrollee receives. Responses to these questions are directly or indirectly array of indicators, monitoring service availability, quality perceptions and barriers to uptake.

A project dashboard periodically fetches survey responses, sans personally identifying information, aggregates the collected data and supports performing analyses such as pattern/trends identification. It supports disaggregation (from regional down to facility level), grading facilities on each of the selected quality indicators, generating a periodic report that at an instant, provides a snapshot of recipients’ experiences with care given at the facility. The report card is used to monitor progress and promote providers accountability for care they provide at facility level and higher. Towards the latter, the tool also incorporates an action tracker for tracking of remedial interventions taken at facility level and higher in response to service recipient’s feedback. 

To enroll expectant and new mothers into the programme, two modes of enrolment are supported: Self and Assisted enrollment, both carried out over SMS. At least two health care workers from all health facilities offering RMNCH services in the target regions have been oriented on the programme and trained on the modalities of assisted enrollment.


End of year objectives:

  • Enroll up to 20,000 pregnant women and mothers on the platform 
  • Provide training to regional and district CHMTs (Council Health Management Team) on utilization of the analytical tool 
  • Generate quarterly report cards for participating health facilities, wards, districts and regions, to be used as a tool for providers’ accountability to service recipients
  • Track indicator improvements vis a vis actions taken by the facility and/or regional health teams 
  • Systemization of regularized dialogue between healthcare providers and the community at the grassroots

For more information, please contact Engelbert Chuwa: