Globalization of m4RH: Increasing Evidence, Expanding Implementation, and Modeling Sustainability to Improve Health and Save Lives

Family Health International (FHI 360)
Organization Location: 
Durham, NC, USA

Healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies can reduce deaths among children under age five by one-third. Preventing unplanned pregnancies can eliminate up to 40 percent of maternal deaths. The Mobile for Reproductive Health (m4RH) program has the potential to dramatically increase contraceptive use among women in countries with the greatest need. m4RH leverages the functionality of mobile phones in an automated, interactive, on-demand text message system (science and technology) to deliver high-quality and user-tested family planning information and referrals (service delivery) to increase access to and use of family planning among women of reproductive age and underserved populations (demand creation). We propose activities over two years to obtain m4RH impact and cost effectiveness data; create a stand-alone, executable technology toolkit; develop electronic documentation to guide content adaptation and health program integration; and develop multiple models of sustainability that will support m4RH implementation in at least five countries. M4RH is innovative and a significant improvement upon standard practice because it: provides essential, objective information about the full range of family planning methods; costs pennies to access and is accessible on every mobile phone; resonates highly with young people; and demonstrates enormous potential to impact millions of women, men, and families. Given the continued growth in mobile phone penetration, m4RH presents a tremendous opportunity to empower a broad segment of the world's population with the knowledge and tools to make informed decisions about critical reproductive health behaviors, thus saving the lives of women and children.

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