South Africa

  • Faster to Zero: EMTCT in South Africa and Uganda

    Uganda mTrac

    The Ntungamo District Biostatistician explains the mTrac system. Facility staff send data for key indicators by toll free SMS to the district office, where they review the data to manage drug stock distribution and for epidemiological surveillance. Credit: Cassandra Mickish Gross

     

    Background

    ​​Despite significant improvements in reducing mother-to-child transmission of HIV, keeping women in care throughout the full recommended cascade of services remains a challenge. In addition, women living with HIV may not feel comfortable asking certain questions of their health provider or may not have access to a provider when they need information.

    When integrated into national health and information systems, digital health tools can help health care workers to provide effective counseling and support patients throughout their care, as well as engage and inform clients and their families in their care. In South Africa, the national MomConnect initiative has registered more than 1.7 million pregnant women to receive health messages on their mobile phones throughout their pregnancy and the first year of their child’s life. In Uganda, the national FamilyConnect program sends timely and relevant messages to pregnant women, mothers, and other household members with reminders to return to the health facility for recommended services.