Uganda’s high maternal and infant mortality ratio has been attributed to among other reasons; complications during pregnancy and during birth outside hospitals as well as failure to recognise symptoms of potential complications among neonates and infants. This is largely due to the fact that most mothers do not get adequate health information regarding their pregnancies and post-natal care to empower them.
SMS Maama was a cohort study aimed at assessing the value of mobile health and mobile messaging for antenatal care retention as well as positive medical outcomes for pregnant mothers and their babies. It focused on the usability, feasibility and user satisfaction of an interactive SMS system aimed to promote maternal child health. The study was implemented by a team of students from the University of Minnesota with technical and local partnership from TMCG. The mobile health service focused on pregnancy-related engagement and screening for possible symptoms of pregnancy complications between the women and healthcare providers.
The study was approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB) and the Uganda National Council of Science and technology (UNCST) in Uganda.
mCRAG (Mobile health for Cryptococcal Antigen Screening and Diagnosis)
Treatment adherence for opportunistic infections in HIV is critical for good clinical outcomes and reduction of mortality and morbidity. With the screening of HIV patients for cryptococcal meningitis becoming mainstream, innovative ways need to be devised to keep those diagnosed in care for optimal prophylaxis or Treatment.
‘mCRAG’ was a pilot research study evaluating the use of telehealth for patient retention in the care and treatment of HIV/ AIDS patients being screened and diagnosed with Cryptococcal Meningitis (CCM). It was aimed at assessing the effectiveness of integrating SMS and voice messaging service for patient linkage and retention into HIV/AIDS and Cryptococcal Meningitis care. The result of this study will contribute evidence for the addition of SMS or voice messages to patient care to improve early diagnosis, treatment adherence, retention into care.
The study was implemented by the Infectious Diseases Institute & the University of Minnesota scholars supported by TMCG as the technology partner.
The study got both ethical review (IRB) and UNCST approval.
MeGaPOC (Men at gaming centres – Point of Care)
Men at gaming centres – Point of Care (Mega-Poc) is a prospective, cross- sectional cohort of men attending gaming and betting centers in Kampala. The main objectives of the study are:
1) to test the acceptability and feasibility of same day testing of HIV and syphilis testing, test result notification, prevalence of HIV and syphilis, and proportion linked to care among men attending at gaming/betting centers
2) To identify the proportion of men involved in other self-reported risky behaviors such as hazardous alcohol intake, illicit drug use, having sex with men and having multiple sexual partners,
3) To test the diagnostic performance of the ChemBio duo HIV-syphilis point of care test.
The study done through a partnership between the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) and TMCG received ethics review approval as well as regulatory approval from UNCST.
Technology delivered and Enabled HIV self-testing
A pilot study of a technology-delivered HIV Self-Testing intervention in Kampala, Uganda.
With Uganda striving to increase public access to HIV testing services and identification of HIV positive individuals, HIV Self Testing (HIVST) is at the forefront of innovative practice. The study, in collaboration with the University of Minnesota, seeks to assess how Telehealth can support efforts for effective and data-centred delivery of HIV Self Testing.
REHEAT (Reproductive Health Empowerment through Telehealth)
A cohort study for men in Uganda to address the low involvement of men in issues of family planning and sexual reproductive health services. The study, in collaboration with the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI), has three main objectives which include user-centered mobile based reproductive health content targeted for men through SMS, interactive voice response; Assessing the feasibility and acceptability of the Men’s Telehealth Information Package (mTIP) on uptake of family planning and reproductive health services; Assessing the impact of the Men’s Telehealth Information Package on uptake of family planning and reproductive health services.