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In Ghana IPA research reveals how mobile phones improve reproductive health knowledge

Presenting the findings of the research results at the UDS Hostels in Accra Wednesday, principal investigator Slawa Rokicki said it was conducted over a period of three years.

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Presenting the findings of the research results at the UDS Hostels in Accra, principal investigator Slawa Rokicki said on Wednesday, that the research was conducted over a period of three years. play

Presenting the findings of the research results at the UDS Hostels in Accra, principal investigator Slawa Rokicki said on Wednesday, that the research was conducted over a period of three years.

Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) has in a research survey concluded that text messages could be used as tool to improve girls’ knowledge about reproductive health.

The study, titled Harnessing the Power of Mobile Phones to Improve Girls' Health in Ghana, sought to harness the power of growing mobile to deliver sex education to adolescents.

Presenting the findings of the research results at the UDS Hostels in Accra, principal investigator Slawa Rokicki said on Wednesday, that the research was conducted over a period of three years.

Thirty two senior high schools in the Greater Accra Region were randomly assigned to participate in one of the three 12-week programs:

One-way

  • Girls were sent text messages about reproductive health topics once a week

 

Interactive

  • Girls were sent text messages with quiz questions about reproductive health once a week

 

Comparison

  • Girls were sent text messages about malaria once a week

 

Findings

According to Rokicki, before the research, reproductive knowledge among the sampled population was averagely low. It was around 31 to 36 percent before the start of the program, she adds.

Knowledge of reproductive health dramatically improved for both the one-way and the interactive groups, as compared to the comparison group Rokicki said.

She notes that in the one-way group, average knowledge improved from 30 to 45 %, 31 to 60 % in the interactive and in the comparison group, it improved from 26 percent to 32 %.

After three months, she adds, girls in all three groups were surveyed to test their understanding of reproductive health, including sexually transmitted diseases and contraception.

Girls in the interactive group had an average knowledge score of 57%; the one-way group had an average of 44%, and the comparison group only 33%.

Fifteen months later, according to the research brief, the girls had retained this knowledge; those in the interactive group scored 54% and girls in the one-way group scored 45 percent, whereas girls in the comparison group scored 42%.

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