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Access to information technology and willingness to receive text message reminders for childhood immunisation among mothers attending a tertiary facility in Lagos, Nigeria

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Background. Effective communication is imperative for the delivery and receipt of adequate health care services. Aim. To determine access to information technology and willingness to receive short message service (SMS) text message reminders for childhood immunisation services among mothers in Lagos, Nigeria. Method. In this descriptive cross-sectional study, interviews using structured questionnaires were conducted with 399 mothers of children aged <5 years who brought their children to attend the immuno-prophylaxis and child welfare clinic of Lagos University Teaching Hospital during July and August 2011. Results. The age of the respondents ranged from 16 to 51 years with a mean of 31.1±4.7 years. Almost all (98%) were current owners of mobile phones, 68% had computer access, 66% were current users of the Internet though most used it occasionally and 65% had e-mail addresses. About three-quarters (77%) were willing to receive future SMS reminders about childhood immunisations although 67% preferred telephonic reminders to SMS and only 53% were willing to pay for the reminders. Respondents who were currently married and had at least a post-secondary education were more willing to receive SMS reminders. Conclusion. The mothers had better access to mobile phones than the Internet and were willing to receive SMS immunisation reminders. Future intervention strategies should explore payment mechanisms for SMS reminders, as there is an unwillingness to bear the cost by the respondents.


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