Mobile Messaging to Prevent Malaria

GSPFeasibility and Effectiveness of mHealth for Mobilizing Households for Indoor Residual Spraying

The PMI AIRS Project’s recently published “Feasibility and Efficacy of mHealth: A Case Study of Mobile Messaging in Mali” in the peer-reviewed journal Global Health: Science and Practice. Read it here. The PMI AIRS Project in Mali piloted a mobile mass-messaging service in Koulikoro District.  The project aimed to determine whether voice and/or text messages received on cell phones could effectively replace door-to-door mobilization for an indoor residual spraying (IRS) campaign. The study found that while literacy and familiarity with technology were major obstacles in the pilot, it also became clear that by removing the face-to-face interactions between mobilizers and household residents, individuals were not as trusting or understanding of the mobilization messages. These residents felt it was easier to ignore a text or voice message than to ignore a mobilizer who could provide reassurances and preparation support. In addition, men often received the mobile messages, as they typically owned the mobile phones, while women—who were more likely to be at home at the time of spray—usually interacted with the door-to-door mobilizers. Future attempts at using mHealth approaches for similar IRS mobilization efforts in Mali should be done in a way that combines mHealth tools with more common human-based interventions, rather than as a stand-alone approach, and should be designed with a gender lens in mind. Read the article to learn more about methods used, the types of mobile messages sent, a cost analysis of the intervention and more details of the findings.