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Table of Contents   
EDITORIAL COMMENTARY  
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 517-518
Employing mobile applications to improve the outcomes of adolescent's pregnancy


Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Click here for correspondence address and email

Date of Web Publication21-Aug-2017
 

How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Employing mobile applications to improve the outcomes of adolescent's pregnancy. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:517-8

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Employing mobile applications to improve the outcomes of adolescent's pregnancy. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2017 [cited 2019 Nov 20];10:517-8. Available from: http://www.atmph.org/text.asp?2017/10/3/517/213166
Adolescents represent an important section of the society, with more than 1.2 billion people in the age-group worldwide.[1] However, it is a real cause of global concern that more than 1.3 million adolescents lost their lives to preventable or treatable etiological factors in 2015 alone.[1] Pregnancy in adolescence has been acknowledged as a major public health concern and should be tackled in a holistic manner involving both the adolescent mother and the problems that surround her.[2] According to current estimates, more than 10% of all births happening across the globe are attributed to the girls in the age group of 15-19 years, with a major proportion of these reported in low- and middle-income nations.[1],[2]

Pregnancy in adolescents often results because of the interaction of a complex range of factors like poor schooling, school dropouts, first sexual intercourse before attaining 15 years of age, positive maternal history of pregnancy in adolescence, poor awareness and access to contraceptive methods, low self-esteem, alcohol or drug abuse, and lack of knowledge about sexuality.[2] The impact of pregnancy on physical or mental health and livelihood of adolescent girl is substantial with increased rates of pregnancy-induced hypertension, anemia, gestational diabetes, obstetric fistula, unsafe abortions (often preferred to avoid social discrimination in the community), sexually transmitted infections, childbirth complications, and maternal and fetal mortality.[2],[3] In fact, complications associated with the pregnancy and childbirth have been recognized as the second most common cause of death among girls in the 15-19 years age group worldwide.[1] Also, with regard to newborn, complications like low birthweight, preterm births, pulmonary morbidities, and birth trauma have been reported.[3]

In the global mission to ensure that all women should have an access to sexual and reproductive healthcare services by 2030, it is the need of the hour to strengthen primary health care, increase community awareness, enhance the accessibility to the services, ensure provision of integrated care, and merge reproductive health into national strategies and programs.[1],[4] At the same time, there is a great need to set and strictly implement age of marriage to be 18 years and offer adequate antenatal care or safe abortion services to the adolescent girls who do not wish to continue with pregnancy.[1],[2],[3]

In the world of mobile technology, different mobile applications have been developed to aid the health sector in improving the outcome of different health indicators and even improve patient compliance.[4],[5] On the same lines, a mobile application has been designed by a team of young people to significantly improve maternal care for young pregnant women in Uganda by addressing their sexual and reproductive health needs and appropriately manage different consequences of adolescent pregnancy.[4] This newly developed mobile app can be used by the health workers and works using Google maps or Global Positioning System technology to identify the location of the pregnant adolescent and the nearest antenatal clinic.[4] The beneficiary is contacted and her personal details are recorded and subsequently automatic text reminders for appointment or important pregnancy advice is passed on to the women.[4] The future plan is to expand the reach of the app to all the women, merge it with the national health system, and even cover other issues like obstetric fistula.[4]

To conclude, adolescent's pregnancy is an important public health concern endangering the lives of both the girl and the fetus and also adds an extra burden on the families. Thus, different options, including mobile applications, should be adopted to build a better tomorrow for everyone.

Acknowledgements

SRS contributed in the conception or design of the work, drafting of the work, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

PSS contributed in the literature review, revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

JR contributed in revising the draft, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
   References Top

1.
World Health Organization. Adolescents: health risks and solutions-Fact sheet; 2016. Available from: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs345/en/. [Last accessed on 2016 July 24].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Brahmbhatt H, Kågesten A, Emerson M, Decker MR, Olumide AO, Ojengbede O. et al. Prevalence and determinants of adolescent pregnancy in urban disadvantaged settings across five cities. J Adolesc Health 2014;55:S48-57.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
de Azevedo WF, Diniz MB, da Fonseca ES, de Azevedo LM, Evangelista CB. Complications in adolescent pregnancy: systematic review of the literature. Einstein (Sao Paulo) 2015;13:618-26.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
UNFPA. A new mobile app brings the digital revolution to adolescent maternal care in Uganda; 2016. Available from: http://www.unfpa.org/news/new-mobile-app-brings-digital-revolution-adolescent-maternal-care-uganda. [Last accessed on 2016 July 24].  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Waring ME, Moore Simas TA, Xiao RS, Lombardini LM, Allison JJ, Rosal MC. et al. Pregnant women's interest in a website or mobile application for healthy gestational weight gain. Sex Reprod Healthc 2014;5:182-4.  Back to cited text no. 5
    

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Correspondence Address:
Saurabh R Shrivastava
3rd Floor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur, Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.213166

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