Background: A third of pregnant women in Nigeria do not attend Antenatal care, hence this quasi-experimental study was carried out within 500 consenting pregnant women within the 5 administrative zones of Lagos to determine the association between Mhealth services and utilization of antenatal and skilled delivery services amongst pregnant women in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.
Methods: Participants were divided into an intervention (who received voice messages) and a control arm (did not receive voice messages). Ownership of a mobile phone and willingness to participate were the selection criteria. Data was collected using a structured interviewer administered questionnaire. Analysis was by descriptive statistics with 95% CI to identify factors associated with antenatal attendance.
Results: Total respondents were 488 (response rate 97.6%). One hundred and fifty-nine (63.8%) of the intervention group found the messages useful. Using the WHO 2016 ANC model, women in the intervention group had a significantly higher frequency of antenatal care attendance than the control group (p < 0.0001). There was a statistically significant difference in antenatal attendance between the intervention and the controls (p < 0.0001). There was also a significantly lower likelihood of poorly supervised (unskilled) home deliveries within the intervention arm (p=0.011).
Conclusion: Mhealth was associated with an increased antenatal attendance and skilled birth attendance at delivery. This has a significant impact in reducing morbidity and mortality indices.