How text messaging can help control malaria

In this week's PLoS Medicine, Dejan Zurovac and colleagues from the Kenya Medical Research Institute/Wellcome Trust Research Program, Nairobi, Kenya discuss six areas where text messaging could improve the delivery of health services and health outcomes in malaria in Africa, including three areas transmitting information from the periphery of the health system to malaria control managers and three areas transmitting information to support management of malaria patients.

The authors state: "The widespread use of (SMS), the least expensive mobile phone function, offers a solution that could rapidly overcome weaknesses in communication potentially leading to improved delivery of health services and better health outcomes… We consider text messaging interventions that have the potential for immediate scale-up, benefiting from the widespread availability of basic mobile phones that do not require installation and maintenance of additional applications."

More information: Zurovac D, Talisuna AO, Snow RW (2012) Mobile Phone Text Messaging: Tool for Malaria Control in Africa. PLoS Med 9(2): e1001176. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001176

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