Most participants reported that they learned new contraceptive information from m4RH. Participants also reported that they better understood the correct use of various contraceptive methods because of knowledge gained through m4RH. Participants stated that m4RH taught them about contraceptive side effects and even about dual protection.
“I learned about different methods of FP, the ones I did not know existed.” —Female, Age 22
“[I] did not know other FP methods like implants existed, I decided to continue using condoms because it has a dual protection against STI and pregnancy.” —Male, age 21
The most common behavior changes reported were use of condoms and changing family planning methods. Some participants reported attending a clinic as a result of information they received from m4RH, and a few referred to increased self-efficacy for visiting a clinic and adopting FP.
“I changed my method from condoms to oral pills.” —Female, Age 24
“m4RH gave me courage to go and choose a method at the clinic.” —Female, Age 31
Many users reported maintaining their current family planning method.
“I did not change my method, I just continued with injections.” —Female, Age 26
Male participants reported learning that family planning is an issue for men and about how to communicate with their partners about family planning.
“Family planning was perceived long term as an issue for women but now I understand it’s for all women and men.” —Male, Age 21
“I told my wife, and actually we read the messages together.” —Male, Age 34
They reported that the messages were easy to understand and informative.
“It is using terms you can understand. It has clear knowledge on what you want to know. It is simple to understand, simple language that everyone can understand.” —Female, Age 22
They noted that the program is fast, simple to use, confidential, and free.
“I like [m4RH] a lot! It is time saving—only you and your phone, and [it’s] confidential—only you and your phone!” —Male, Age 21
L’Engle, K., Vahdat, H., Ndakidemi E., Lasway C., & Zan, T. (2013) Evaluating feasibility, reach and potential impact of a text message family planning information service in Tanzania. Contraception, 87:251-256.
Vahdat, H., L’Engle K., Plourde K., Magaria L., & Olawu A. (2013). ‘There are some questions you may not ask in a clinic’: Providing contraception information to young people in Kenya using SMS. International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology Nov; 123 Suppl 1:e2-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2013.07.009
This one-pager describes the cost considerations associated with developing a mobile phone program like m4RH.
This presentation provides an overview of the collaborative development and implementation approach used with m4RH in Kenya and Tanzania.