Text Messages Improve Malaria Treatment

Sept. 9, 2011, 12:29 p.m.


"Sending daily text message reminders to health workers can mean nearly 25 percent more children are properly treated for malaria, according to the results of a six-month trial conducted in Kenya" published Thursday in the Lancet, Reuters reports (Kelland, 8/3).

"At the beginning of the study, 20.5 percent of children were correctly managed, [and] this increased to 49.6 percent after the six-month study. The effect appeared to persist after the texts stopped. Six months after the trial ended, 51.4 percent of children were receiving the correct treatment," BBC News writes (8/3). According to a press release from the Wellcome Trust, which funded the study, "the cost of a text message in Kenya is about US$0.01, resulting in the cost of full exposure to the intervention of $2.6 per health worker, or $39,000 if scaled up to an estimated 15,000 health workers in all rural facilities nationwide" (8/4).



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