n South African Medical Journal - Comparison of two text message (mHealth) campaigns for the deaf : contracted out v. conducted in-house : healthcare delivery

Volume 106, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



Cell phone-based health information (mobile health or mHealth) campaigns are an emerging technology. This evaluation focused on the aspect of cost of two health information campaigns, one on hypertension and one on pregnancy. Researchers could either contract out the technical components of the campaigns or attempt to run the campaigns themselves, in-house. The in-house campaigns cost an estimated ZAR13 548.72 v. the private provider quotes which ranged from ZAR27 542.97 to ZAR34 227.59. Running the campaigns in-house was more labour intensive and required more technical expertise, but had a reduced delivery failure rate (9.2% in-house v. 30.0% private provider). Running small to medium SMS (text message) campaigns for evaluative purposes proved advantageous over contracting out to private providers. Larger-scale evaluations and full-scale roll-out will require the services of private providers, but it is still essential that researchers actively engage with and monitor the technical aspects of these campaigns.

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