Mobile for Reproductive Health (m4RH)

Family planning is a vital tool that increases the health and well-being of a woman and
her family. Among the many public health benefits, family planning aids in preventing
pregnancy-related health risks in women and reducing infant mortality. The challenge
is that in many developing countries, young men and women lack access to contraceptive
methods that are effective and low-cost. In Tanzania, the contraceptive prevalence
rate (CPR) is 34.4% as of 2010,1 compared to the global rate of 63.6%.2, 3 What can
be done to increase Tanzania’s contraceptive rate? How can public health organizations
reach millions of women and men and change their behavior on a topic that is often
considered taboo?
FHI 360, a U.S.-based nonprofit, developed and launched Mobile for Reproductive Health
(m4RH), a mobile health (mHealth) program aimed at educating users in Tanzania about
contraceptive choice and the variety of effective contraceptive methods available. m4RH
is an automated, on-demand text message system that provides essential facts about
nine contraceptive methods. It also helps users locate local clinics where they can
access contraceptives.
Since launching in 2009, m4RH has reached nearly 300,000 users in Tanzania. Initial
studies with smaller samples of users have shown that m4RH has delivered effective
results in educating users about contraception, with some users self-reporting a change
in contraceptive behavior.4 Users have reported that after accessing m4RH, they have
discussed contraception with their partners


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