Background: Mobile phone has been described as offering a remarkable potential to deliver primary health care. It is widely used in low-and middle-income countries to support health care delivery. In Burkina Faso, high maternal mortality rates and persistent numbers of people living with HIV are priorities to address by government. Here we described an innovative mobile phone platform that helps to overcome barriers of access to health service by community members in rural health district.
Methods: A mobile phone project was implemented to enhance better access to health information and care delivery for mother, and people living with HIV. An interactive messaging and voice system was developed and incorporated major local languages to overcome literacy barrier. In addition, a patient’s reminder system for follow-up appointments was incorporated.
Results: Overall 423 pregnant women, 319 new-born mothers and 116 HIV/AIDS patients were followed-up by the system in 2015 by community health workers. An average 177 patient’s reminder for appointment was completed. There was an 8% increase of antenatal care uptake and better compliance of HIV patients to antiretroviral services. There was also a reduction of about 84% of loss of followed-up from HIV patients (P<0,05), and an increase of 41% of assisted deliveries. However, running mobile devices in a hard to reach population is challenging.
Conclusion: Use of mobile phones at a community level is a powerful tool to increase their equitable access to health care information and participation to local health care governance. However challenges must be anticipated.