Power for Health (PFH)
Most rural health facilities in Uganda and many parts of Africa have no electricity, lighting or phones to communicate with clients or doctors, which contributes to low uptake of antenatal and maternity services and unsafe care for pregnant women who deliver there. Power for Life (PFH) will conduct a case-control study in 12 rural health centers in 2 districts of Uganda to test the idea that: a) supplying solar power and lighting, and b) providing data and voice technology will improve health seeking behavior, quality of care during childbirth, and birth outcomes. Over a 18 month period, PFH will use mobile technology to collect data from all antenatal and maternity clients visiting 12 government health centers which are randomly assigned to one of 3 arms: facilities with no lighting or phone; facilities with solar power and lighting but no phones; facilities with solar power and lighting plus mobile technology allowing access via phone to obstetricians or pediatricians for expert advice, automatic voice mail reminders for antenatal clients, and text alerts for service providers when clients fail to return for appointments. Data to be collected include client demographic characteristics, expected date of delivery, number of antenatal visits, services provided, place of delivery, complications during pregnancy, childbirth or postnatal period, and birth outcomes for mother and infant. Findings will be used to advocate with government, donors, and private companies to fund expansion of solar lighting and mobile technology to more rural health facilities as a means of saving lives at birth.