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Putting health in the hands of mothers

The Liga Inan program, Timor-Leste's first mHealth project, is changing the way mothers & midwives stay in touch.

900

Total Enrolled Moms

434

Total Confirmed Births

22334

Scheduled SMS Sent

Connecting pregnant women & their midwives

It’s all about communication

Liga Inan is using mobile phones to connect expectant mothers with health providers in Timor-Leste to improve the likelihood of a healthy pregnancy and birth.

Funded by USAID’s Child Survival and Health Grants Program, Liga Inan is implemented by Health Alliance International with Catalpa International, in partnership with Timor-Leste's Ministry of Health.

Liga Inan cuts across geographic barriers to directly connect women to better health care in a country with high maternal and neonatal mortality.

Midwives can now use a mobile phone to register expectant mothers, track their progress, know when they go into labour and make arrangements for attending the delivery. Mothers continue to receive support through the first six weeks of the newborn's life.

Liga Inan also sends automated health promotional information via SMS to all registered pregnant mothers throughout their pregnancy to help them make better decisions about their pregnancy and link them with regular prenatal care.

Liga Inan recognises that a simple message can often make the biggest difference.

The Liga Inan program at a glance

The Liga Inan program is changing the way mothers & midwives stay in touch. See some first hand accounts of how Liga Inan is changing the way moms-to-be access health care in Timor-Leste.

Tips and reminders delivered through mobile phones

Pregnant women receive twice weekly text messages with important health information and reminders to attend regular prenatal care

Many women in Timor-Leste live in remote and rural areas which makes it difficult for them to access health facilities and midwives.

As a result, many women find it difficult to get good advice and support to improve their chances of a having a safe pregnancy and healthy baby.

As soon as they have their first prenatal visit, women in the program will begin receiving twice weekly advice and reminders about what to expect at each stage and how they can best assure a happy outcome of their pregnancy.

Reminders will encourage them to attend the four prenatal visits that are recommended for full coverage of services.

Measuring Liga Inan's impact

1151

Total women ever enrolled

638

Women currently receiving messages

548

Number of confirmed births

112

Women requesting help from their midwife

Increase in births with midwives in first of four program subdistricts*

6 Months Before Liga Inan
6 Months After Liga Inan

* Ministry of Health population projections (2013) estimate 92 deliveries per month in the Same sub-district

Midwives broadcast community messages

Liga Inan enables midwives to broadcast useful health messages from their mobile phones to women and communities in Timor-Leste.

One of Liga Inan’s innovative functions is that it allows midwives to broadcast community specific health messages to their registered patients.

Midwifes can write a messages in her own style, and by sending the SMS to the Liga Inan system it will be broadcast to all her registered patients. She can even segment her patient group, for instance by sending an SMS only to mothers in one village.

Midwives can use local dialects to inform mothers about relevant local events, such as vaccination campaigns and mobile clinic schedules.

This community messaging function promotes independent action by midwives and enhances the effectiveness of the system by linking pregnant women with a familiar social network that incorporates their needs and reflects their values.

Reducing communication barriers

Liga Hau will offer pregnant women the option to contact their midwife with a question or a concern

Pregnant women may have questions that are not answered by the regular SMS messages they receive, or the custom messages from their midwife.

The Liga Hau (“Call me”) function allows pregnant women to request a call from their midwife to respond to a question or concern.

Project managers will monitor the Liga Hau requests to find out about the issues that are of most concern to women. This means health providers can constantly improve the quality of information sent to pregnant women and better meet their needs.

Liga Inan also sends SMS messages that inform midwives when their patients are nearing their delivery date.

Assuring quality obstetric care

Through trained health professionals and fully equipped facilities

An important part of the Liga Inan project is ensuring that midwives are fully trained in addressing emergency problems of pregnancy, including the delivery, postpartum and newborn periods.

The Timor-Leste Ministry of Health and Health Alliance International are committed to strengthening the quality of maternity care provided by midwives. And as Liga Inan will lead to increased awareness of maternal health services it is important that this demand is met by competent and helpful staff.

Improved communication will go a long way to help midwives develop professional and supportive relationships with their patients, whilst ongoing skills training builds the confidence and competence of the midwives to deliver healthy babies.

Supporting women and families in the community

Family health promoters help mothers learn about health through home visits

Family health promoters are local volunteers that will help reinforce the new information for mothers, such as the value of having a midwife attend their delivery and how to recognize danger signs during pregnancy, delivery and post-partum.

The volunteers also support mobile clinics, where midwives can provide prenatal, postpartum and family planning services

Liga Inan in the News

Furthering Reading

Baseline Knowledge, Practices & Coverage Survey

696kb ENG | TET

MAMA Spotlight The Liga Inan Program Timor Leste

1.9mb ENG

Basic Emergency Obstetric & Neonatal Care Assessment

476kb ENG | TET

The Liga Inan Program Preliminary Results

715kb ENG

Liga Inan Partners