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Liga Inan (Connecting Mothers): An mHealth Program to Improve Maternal Health Outcomes in Timor-Leste

In 2012, Health Alliance International and Catalpa International, a software development firm, partnered with the Timor-Leste Ministry of Health to design, implement and evaluate an mHealth program called Liga Inan, or "Connecting Mothers" in the local language of Timor-Leste. Pregnant women are enrolled in Liga Inan at the first antenatal care visit by health staff in government-run health facilities and begin receiving automated messages twice per week timed to her gestational stage. The messages provide health education and tips and reminders to seek care during pregnancy and through the postpartum period. The Liga Inan service also facilitates two-way communication between expectant mothers and health staff. Operations research showed that women living in the municipality where Liga Inan was implemented had nearly twice the odds of having skilled care during delivery, and five times the odds of having immediate postpartum and newborn care, compared to baseline and women living in a control municipality where Liga Inan was not implemented. Scaling up Liga Inan nationally in Timor-Leste began in 2014 and is expected to be fully integrated into the Timor-Leste health system in all 13 municipalities by 2019. Funding for Liga Inan is provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Australian Government, Foreign Affairs and Trade.

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