Strengthening relationships to make childbirth safer

Health
map-markerTimor-Leste

For safer pregnancies, Liga Inan facilitates two-way communication between pregnant women and health providers

Helping families make informed decisions

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.

When it’s centred around people, simple mobile technology can enhance relationships and trust.

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.

Health staff are able to monitor the status of pregnant women, easily contact them, and view clinic statistics to track progress.

Making things easier for frontline health workers

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:

  • 64% of women surveyed identified Liga Inan as their primary source of maternal health information
  • 58% of women surveyed said they received the best quality information on maternal and child health from Liga Inan
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"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."
Casilda, midwife in Gleno, Ermera Municipality, Timor-Leste
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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.

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