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M‐SAKHI—Mobile health solutions to help community providers promote maternal and infant nutrition and health using a community‐based cluster randomized controlled trial in rural India: A study protocol


Reduction of childhood stunting is difficult to achieve by interventions that focus only on improving nutrition during infancy. Comprehensive interventions that extend through the continuum of care from pregnancy to infancy are needed. Mobile phones are now successfully being used for behaviour change communication to improve health. We present the methodology of an mHealth intervention “Mobile Solutions Aiding Knowledge for Health Improvement” (M‐SAKHI) to be delivered by rural community health workers or Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) for rural women, below or up to 20 weeks of pregnancy through delivery until their infant is 12 months of age. This protocol paper describes the cluster randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of M‐SAKHI. The primary objective of the trial is to reduce the prevalence of stunting (height‐for‐age < −2 z‐score) in children at 18 months of age by 8% in the intervention as compared with control. The secondary objectives include evaluating the impact on maternal dietary diversity, birth weight, infant and young child feeding practices, infant development, and child morbidity, along with a range of intermediate outcomes for maternal, neonatal, and infant health. A total of 297 ASHAs, five trained counsellors, and 2,501 participants from 244 villages are participating in this study. The outcome data are being collected by 51 field research officers. This study will provide evidence regarding the efficacy of M‐SAKHI to reduce stunting in young children in rural India, and if effective, the cost‐effectiveness of M‐SAKHI.

By: Archana B. Patel, Priyanka N. Kuhite, Ashraful Alam, Yamini Pusdekar, Amrita Puranik, Samreen Sadaf Khan, Patrick Kelly, Sumithra Muthayya, Tracey‐Lea Laba, Michelle D’ Almeida, Michael J. Dibley

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