Kenya’s progress towards reducing maternal and neonatal deaths is at present ‘insufficient’. These deaths could be prevented if the three delays, that is, in deciding to seek healthcare (delay 1), in accessing formal healthcare (delay 2) and in receiving quality healthcare (delay 3), are comprehensively addressed. We designed a mobile phone enhanced 24 hours Uber-like transport navigation system coupled with personalised and interactive gestation-based text messages to address these delays. Our main objective was to evaluate the impact of this intervention on women’s adherence to recommended antenatal (ANC) and postnatal care (PNC) regimes and facility birth.
We conducted a prospective cohort study. Women were eligible to participate in the study if they were 15 years or older and less than 28 weeks gestation. We defined cases as those who received the standard of care plus the intervention and the control group as those who received the standard of care only. For analysis, we used logistic regression analysis and report crude and adjusted OR (aOR) and 95 % CI.
Cases (women who received the intervention) had five times higher odds of having four or more ANC visits (aOR=4.7, 95% CI 3.20 to 7.09), three times higher odds of taking between 30 and 60 min to reach a health facility for delivery (aOR=3.14, 95% CI 2.37 to 4.15) and four times higher odds of undergoing at least four PNC visits (aOR=4.10, 95% CI 3.11 to 5.36).
An enhanced community-based Uber-like transport navigation system coupled with personalised and interactive gestation-based text messages significantly increased the utilisation of ANC and PNC services as well as shortened the time taken to reach an appropriate facility for delivery compared with standard care.