Marine Al Dahdah

Marine Al Dahdah


PhD candidate, Paris Descartes University (CEPED/IRD), ANRS Research Scholar

Institution de rattachement

CEPED, Centre Population et développement, UMR 196 • Université Paris Descartes • Ined • IRD

PhD candidate, Paris Descartes University (CEPED/IRD), ANRS Research Scholar mHealth, women health and HIV : sociotechnical analysis of projects to fight against AIDS

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are gathering high potential tools in the field of health. From online Personal Health Record (PHR), treatment and appointment reminders by SMS, to the e-mailing of confidential clinical datas, healthcare systems are using worldwide more and more technologies to provide better services with less financial and human resources. During the last three years, many health stakeholders and mobile technology providers have understood the high potential of mHealth and launched hundreds of mHealth projects, especially in developing countries where weak health systems are failing to meet their population needs and where private actors have full scope to “experiment” new technologies. Whereas many social science research projects were led worldwide on AIDS and HIV policies, the literature on AIDS/HIV mHealth projects is scarce and some researchers are pointing the lack of studies on this specific subject. For this PhD dissertation, we will focus our research on HIV mHealth actions towards women. First, because since 2002, women represent more than half of people living with HIV worldwide. Whereas HIV epidemic is globally stabilised, women are more infected than men in sub-Saharan Africa, region that gathered the greatest proportion of people living with HIV. Moreover, because women play a central role in the family for education, transmission of values and health information. And last but not least, because women have a more difficult relation to information technologies than men, as they are less equipped and less accustomed to them, nevertheless mobile phone seems to be a particularly interesting case as the gender inequality tend to be weaker. Therefore, some HIV projects have promoted specific mHealth applications for women.

We’ll concentrate our efforts on three maternal mHealth projects about HIV, one in India –which bears de heaviest maternal death burden worldwide- and two others in Sub-saharian Africa (Ghana, South Africa) – region where women are more infected by HIV – will permit to analyse the impact of those technologies and to identify key factors of implementation to develop further health awareness programs on mobile devices.

Key Words : mHealth, mobile phone, women, HIV, health, developing world.