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Child Health Promotion Using Text Messaging in Kupang Regency, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia

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Background: Short Message service is one of the information technologies used to deliver health program. It is believed that children develop their healthy behavior through learning from their parents. The aim of the study was to analyze the effect of SMS Campaign over a 12 weeks-period and analyze its effectiveness in raising the awareness and improving the knowledge of the society regarding child health specifically about oral health, personal hygiene/sanitation, and nutrition. Method: This study was a non-randomized experimental study and conducted in four villages along the coastline of Kupang regency. Subjects on pretest were 111 parents of students from Kupang Barat Sub-district, while at posttest only 104 parents came. At first, parents took pretest to measure their knowledge in children health topics. Then, the parents received SMS contained information about the healthy behavior of children and household for three months then the took the posttest. Focus group discussions were conducted to explore the acceptability of SMS. Results: Among the subjects, 62.2% were female, aged of 25–54 years old, 6.3% did not finish elementary school and 58.1% worked as farmers. There was a significant increase in knowledge scores from 17.88 to 19.47. The focus group discussion showed that SMS was highly acceptable by the parents in giving health information and increasing parents’ knowledge about the healthy behavior of children. Parents gave positive feedback to SMS. Conclusion: SMS demonstrated a feasible and effective health promotion method in reaching and informing parents about child health.
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Keywords: Child Health; Healthy Behavior; Knowledge; Short Message Service (SMS)

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Public Health Faculty, University of Nusa Cendana, Kupang, 85001, Indonesia

Publication date: April 1, 2017

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