Aparna Hegde | October 2015
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Presentation at the Global Maternal Newborn Health Conference, October 19, 2015

Background: mMitra is a free mobile voice call service of ARMMAN India, supported by MAMA, for pregnant women and new mothers living in the slums of Mumbai. The voice calls are offered in Hindi and Marathi, specific to subscribers’ gestational age or age of the infant. Women are enrolled in the service through partnerships with government and municipal hospitals, Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and local NGOs. Methodology: A qualitative study is underway to explore the effects of mMitra on women’s beliefs, and ultimately, on demand for health services. Sixteen focus group discussions (FGDs) will be held with subscribers – primary respondents – and eight in-depth interviews (IDIs) with secondary respondents – healthcare service providers – to substantiate the findings. Subscribers will be selected based on demographic and socioeconomic factors, obstetric history, mobile ownership and duration of receiving the mMitra service.

Methods: This study targets: pregnant women with 2 FGDs each for those (1) less than 3 months, during 3 – 6 months and 6 – birth; (2) new mothers less than 3 months postpartum, 3 – 6 months, 6 – 12 months, and greater than 12 months. Service providers included doctors at 4 hospitals and in IDI’s 1 nurse.

Expected Results: Secondary data demonstrates awareness of available services is high among our target population, however clinical indicators among pregnant women show poor performance. Thus, the priorities of this study revolve around mMitra’s targeted information and guiding women to adopt specific actions and interventions. The study also explores whether the service emboldens subscribers to ask more questions or demand more interventions and commodities during clinical visits. This presentation will discuss the study and findings and is aimed to inform program implementers and government stakeholders on the range of effects of mMitra in generating demand for services and commodities.