To improve the likelihood of pregnant women delivering with a skilled birth attendant
75,000 women registered
4.1 million SMS messages sent with information on maternal and child health
A mobile health initiative that strengthens communication, information sharing and clinic planning
Enrolled women are 2x more likely to deliver their baby at a health facility
Enrolled women are 5x more likely to attend follow-up care after their baby is born
Health Alliance International, Timor-Leste Ministry of Health, USAID, supported by Australian Aid
No woman or baby should die during childbirth. But in remote areas, access to healthcare can be challenging. Babies are frequently born at home in Timor-Leste, lacking access to medical care.
Liga Inan is a national health program aiming to reduce the nation's high maternal and infant mortality ratios. It supports Timor-Leste’s aim to improve reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health by increasing access to antenatal, delivery and postnatal care, and family planning services.
Introduced to women at their first prenatal medical visit, expectant mothers can use mobile phones to connect with healthcare providers, improving the likelihood of a healthy pregnancy and birth.
Women receive information via SMS to help them make informed decisions, tailored to their stage of pregnancy and continuing to six months post-birth. This includes nudges to visit their clinic at critical times, prevent disease, and make preparations for delivery. Women can also request a call back from a health provider, and receive broadcast messages about important community events like vaccination days, outbreaks in a district or village, and public health information about COVID-19.
Using the Liga Inan system, midwives and doctors are able to register expectant mothers, track their progress, easily contact them, know when they go into labour and make arrangements for attending the delivery. The app also collects health data related to upcoming births as well as where the enrolled mothers delivered their babies (facility, home with skilled birth attendants or home without skilled birth attendants) to allow health providers to monitor trends and make decisions about health services.
Independent research conducted by the National Health Institute found:
"A pregnant woman came to our health facility last week. She told us that she's illiterate but sends her daughter to school. Her daughter is the one who usually reads Liga Inan messages to her. Her daughter informed her that according to the message from Liga Inan, she was expected to deliver in a couple of days. So the pregnant woman came to the health facility and delivered with the assistance of a health provider. Both mother and baby are well."
Liga Inan has now been expanded to include a parallel program called Liga Familia which encourages fathers-to-be to actively support women and their newborn children throughout the pregnancy-to-parenthood journey.
Utilising the Liga Inan messaging system, Fathers registered with Liga Familia receive tailored advice on birth planning, identifying risks, and contributing to positive and ongoing dialogue with their partners.