SMS-Driven Toolkit Improves Maternal and Child Health

Totohealth reduces maternal and child mortality in lowresource communities in developing countries by offering an SMS information service and low-cost health supplies.

Totohealth is a social enterprise utilizing both mobile technology and healthcare toolkits to improve maternal and child health in Kenya and Tanzania. The company’s personalized messaging platform uses SMS and voice technology to help parents track their child’s vaccination schedule and clinic appointments, and learn about nutrition and family planning advice. Their health service package includes clean delivery kits needed during childbirth as well as a newborn survival pack containing critical health supplies for the mother and baby.

Totohealth’s services also include early detection of disabilities and developmental abnormalities in young children. With SMS services priced affordably at $2 per year, the company currently has more than 18,000 parents registered from a total of 27 counties in Kenya.

Relevance of solution

Kenya’s maternal mortality rate is 362 deaths per 100,000 live births, and the under-five mortality rate is 52 per 1,000.1 The majority of these deaths are caused by preventable and treatable conditions. By increasing health literacy, health-seeking behavior, and early detection of warming signs, and by providing all children an equal start in life, Totohealth already improves the lives of families in Kenya and Tanzania.

Triple Bottom Line


Using an SMS platform reduces unnecessary waste from paper pamphlets and eliminates transportation needed for distribution.


By promoting family planning and child spacing for two years, Totohealth addresses the unmet need which could prevent 29% of maternal deaths per year.2


As only 16.3% of Kenyans with a disability are engaged in paid employment,3 improving this number through prevention or early detection can have a positive effect on the economy of a household, community, and the country as a whole.


  1. Kenya Demographic Health Survey. (2014)
  2. Ahmed S, Li Q, Liu L, Tsui AO. “Maternal Deaths Averted byContraceptive Use: An Analysis of172 Countries.” Lancet. (2012)
  3. National Coordinating Agency for Population and Development.“Kenya National Survey for Persons with a Disability.” (2008)