'MATRI-SUMAN' a capacity building and text messaging intervention to enhance maternal and child health service utilization among pregnant women from rural Nepal: study protocol for a cluster randomised controlled trial

Jitendra Kumar Singh, Rajendra Kadel, Dilaram Acharya, Daniel Lombard, Saval Khanal, Shri Prakash Singh

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Background: Capacity development of health volunteers and text messaging to pregnant women through mobile phones have shown improved maternal and child health (MCH) outcomes and is associated with increased utilisation of MCH services. However, such interventions are uncommon in Nepal. We aim to carry out an intervention with the hypothesis that capacity building and text messaging intervention will increase the MCH service utilisation.

Method/design: MATRI-SUMAN is a 12-month cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT). The trial involves pregnant women from 52 clusters of six village development committees (VDCs) covering 66,000 populations of Dhanusha district of Nepal. In the intervention clusters, Female Community Health Volunteers (FCHVs) will receive capacity development skills through reinforcement training, supervision and monitoring skills for the promotion of health seeking behaviour among pregnant women and study participants will receive periodic promotional text messaging service about MCH components through mobile phones. A sample of 354with equal numbers in each study arm is estimated using power calculation formula. The primary outcomes of this study are the rate of utilization of skilled birth attendants and consumption of a specified diversified meal. The secondary outcomes are: four antenatal (ANC) visits, weight gain of women during pregnancy, delivery of a baby at the health facility, postnatal care (PNC) visits, positive changes in child feeding practices among mothers, performance of FCHVs in MCH service utilization.

Discussion: The intervention is designed to enhance the capacity of health volunteers for the promotion of health seeking behaviour among pregnant women and text messaging through a mobile phone to expecting mothers to increase MCH service utilization. The trial if proven effective will have policy implications in poor resource settings.

Trial registration: ISRCTN60684155, (https://doi.org/10.1186/ISRCTN60684155). The trial was registered retrospectively.
Original languageEnglish
Article number447
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2018

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