When texting can save a life

Awarded on 13 May 2015



Basic nutrition, Family planning, Health education, Reproductive health care

Grant amount £11,872.30

Parent and childMany of us use SMS to text our friends, arrange a night out or – in the case of a number of annoying companies – send reminders that we may be eligible for compensation for accidents we never had. But text messaging can also be used to supply critical, even life-saving information. That’s the rationale behind Totohealth, Indigo’s latest grantee. Toto is a Kenyan organisation that provides time-sensitive texts to parents and pregnant women regarding their health and the health of their child or unborn baby. The information is based on the age of the child or stage of pregnancy and gives parents a way of checking whether or not they and their child are developing properly. For those who would prefer messages delivered as audio, that option also exists.

To date, more than 10,000 people have registered to use the platform and are receiving messages. The messages are composed by Toto’s team of health and child development experts with one message a week covering some aspect of baby/child development, while a second offers tips and advice for general household health. Parents can also use the system to request extra information or advice if they are worried or unsure about anything. In the case of referrals, Toto’s team will be able to link parents to public health facilities for further treatment or investigations.

Indigo’s funding of $17,664 will be used to help the team expand their services to further counties in Kenya and also to support data verification and monitoring and evaluation activities.