- Written by Queen Munguti for KenyaKidz
Totohealth, an SMS service platform that helps pregnant mothers track their health by sending them timely alerts thus reducing cases of maternal death, has seen tremendous growth since its inception in 2014.
As of 2016, it was able to detect up to 42 health and developmental conditions on a monthly basis thus helping minimize developmental disabilities such as autism and cerebral palsy in children. Once the conditions are detected it refers the mothers to take their children to health facilities around them.
KenyaKidz conducted a follow up interview with the co-founder and CEO of the service, Felix Kimaru.
We got more information on how the service has been received in the market, how many parents it has helped and changes that they have made to the service since then.
How many more users do you have now compared to May 2014
In May 2014 we had 50 users but as of March 2016 we had 18, 121 parents using the
How many counties are you now in? Where have you seen your biggest growth?
We are now in six counties now and Nairobi remains our biggest with over 6,000 parents registered from there.
Have you increased the number of languages the service is available in? If so which ones?
Yes we have;
i. English (Text only)
ii. Kiswahili (Voice and Text)
iii. Somali (Voice and Text)
How many institutions have you partnered with and how?
We have partnered with five Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs). We have increase the health outcomes of the communities they serve.
Is the Toto Health service still free?
No, it’s Ksh 200 per year or 100 per 6months.
In your two years of operation, what trends have you noticed when it comes to maternal health?
The end user is now willing to pay for a service that will save or improve their live or that of the child than to wait for an NGO to fund them to access care. The budgetary allocation from the government also increased.
You say that you also seek to minimize developmental diseases by sending out questionnaires. How many children have you been able to help so far?
We detect up to 42 health and developmental conditions on a monthly basis. Once detected, we refer the mothers to take their children to health facilities around them.
Apart from keeping track of pregnancies, can Totohealth also help expectant women find hospitals or health centres more so in the far flung areas?
We do refer parents to the public health facilities near them.
Inorder to receive the healthcare information, hospitals or medical institutions must first register with Totohealth. Parents can then be registered under a particular healthcare institution noting down the age of the child or expected day of delivery if the mother is pregnant. Weekly health updates shall then be sent to the parents via text messagein regards to the age of the child.
The health institution under which the parents are registered also sends them reminder messages on vaccinations, clinic dates and appointments. These messages may also contain warning signs on your child’s health.
All responses to the text messages sent out are recorded by Totohealth and used to create reports.