139, Sonja Ausen-Anifrani, SMS Maama | Reduce Maternal Mortality in Uganda

Sonja Ausen-Anifrani believes that maternal mortality can be reduced by providing the health information that every woman deserves.


SMS Maama is reducing maternal mortality through health information

Sonja Ausen-Anifrani (L) and Katelyn Pastick of SMS Maama

The founders of SMS Maama met at a course on social entrepreneurship at the University of Minnesota. None of them had experience in being an entrepreneur or building a social venture. The class provided mentors in Uganda. They worked on their idea and, when the class was over, they walked away with a grade and a business plan.

But now, they were on the hook. They knew what the problem was and they suspected that perhaps they had a solution. And if they could do something about maternal mortality, didn’t they have to try?

Uganda has a maternal mortality rate of 360 deaths per 100,000 live births. While 1 in 44 Ugandan women will die due to pregnancy complications, in many cases, this is preventable. Early health assessments and improved nutrition can dramatically reduce maternal mortality. However, many women in Uganda do not have access this information.

SMS Maama uses automated text messages to send pregnancy-related information. They also screen for complications during pregnancy through simple text questions and responses. They are just beginning their pilot project in Uganda. Sonja Ausen-Anifrani tells the story.

Social Entrepreneurship Quotes from Sonja Ausen-Anifrani

[spp-tweet tweet=”‘These complications are preventable.’ Sonja Ausen-Anifrani, SMS Maama”]

[spp-tweet tweet=”‘Every woman has the right to accurate information.’ Sonja Ausen-Anifrani, SMS Maama “]

[spp-tweet tweet=”‘When you’re in the class, you’re working with theory.’ Sonja Ausen-Anifrani, SMS Maama “]

“Moving from theory, working in class on a group project, to something real, takes a lot of work.”

[spp-tweet tweet=”‘You don’t have a structure. You’re creating a structure.’ Sonja Ausen-Anifrani, SMS Maama “]

[spp-tweet tweet=”‘It takes so much internal motivation.’ Sonja Ausen-Anifrani, SMS Maama”]

Social Entrepreneurship Resources:

About the Author
Tony Loyd is a TEDx speaker, podcast host and the author of Crazy Good Advice: 10 Lessons Learned from 150 Leading Social Entrepreneurs. He is a former Fortune 500 executive with extensive experience in strategic planning, talent management, and leadership development. Tony is the host of the podcast Social Entrepreneur where you can hear the stories of changemakers who are making an impact on the world.

2 comments on “139, Sonja Ausen-Anifrani, SMS Maama | Reduce Maternal Mortality in Uganda

  1. Megan Voorhees says:

    Thanks for continuing to support social entrepreneurs Tony!

    1. Tony Loyd says:

      Thanks Megan. I have the easy job. I just put a microphone in front of these changemakers. You, Fred and the Acara team do such an amazing job setting them up to be successful.

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