TENA App: a mobile health service
The COVID pandemic showed a massive disruption in the healthcare system, leading to lower availability of healthcare services and increased gender-based and domestic violence and mental health problems. To support the Ethiopian community and improve their health status, together with our technical partner Viamo the TENA Ethiopia mobile health service has been developed. TENA (HEALTH in Amharic) is a mobile Interactive Voice Response (IVR) app providing health information on topics related to the pandemic. This mobile IVR application has been freely available since mid 2021 for anyone with a mobile phone in Ethiopia – no smartphone required – making the service accessible for the majority of the Ethiopian society. The service is available in English and two local languages, Amharic and Oromia.
Benefits of the TENA health service
TENA app voice calls
People can register for the TENA IVR application for free by calling a toll-free number. After registration, they receive free calls from sister TENA over the course of three months. Every four days, during 2-minute calls, the listener will learn everything about prevention and treatment of COVID; maternal health during the pandemic; sexual and reproductive health during the pandemic; or about what to do when experiencing domestic or gender-based violence and/or mental health problems as a consequence of the pandemic.
Midwives across Ethiopia have been enrolling their clients to the TENA mobile health service since mid 2021. The service reinforces the midwives’ message allowing their clients to receive additional (follow-up) information and reminders. These midwives find the service very useful and are eager to inform their clients about it since the information in the calls reinforces and complements their message and takes pressure off theirof their workload, strengthening their service delivery and empowering their clients with knowledge.
In Ethiopia 75% of the TENA participants heard about the service via their healthcare provider. The remaining 25% heard of it via wordworth of mouth, showing the need for this type of community health information, aiming to strengthen the capacity of Ethiopian midwives and empower the community during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In the coming period we plan to bring the TENA IVR mobile app service to other countries.