In Rwanda, just sending a text message could just save a baby’s life. Health workers across the country use a message alert system to monitor pregnancy and reduce maternal and child mortality rates.
From a simple text, maternal health community mobilizers are able to log details of pregnant women into a national database so that their pregnancies can be closely monitored.
Expectant mothers send messages by entering a code to indicate that they are pregnant, along with basic information like their national identification numbers and the dates of their last periods.
The service has greatly reduced the number of women that risk their lives and those of their children by giving birth at home.
The database, known as RapidSMS, was set up in 2009. The scheme has already helped slash infant and maternal mortality rates. Infant mortality in Rwanda has dropped massively in the last decade from 70 per thousand to just 31 per thousand in 2015.