Authors: Kathya Cordova Pozo and Arnold J.J. Hagens
In Bolivia, health care service is not widely used, particularly preventive and primary health care. Health service is often expensive and in some cases, becomes a source of inequality. A big part of the health problems during adolescence is related to sexual and reproductive health. This research focuses onthe use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in the improvement of health care, particularly the use of text messages (SMS, short message service) intended to serve as motivation for behavioral change and improvement of sexual health behavior as part of preventive health. To present our analysis, we will start by a detailed description of the methodology used, followed by the results obtained from the received messages and finally we will show the conclusions up to date. Some characteristics of SMS prove positive for adolescents, like the fact that they are informative, convenient in cost, time and accessible to everybody. In contrast, they also pose some peril, like information gaps that can be used just with commercialization intentions and not to address real needs. The convenience of cost and time was an important consideration during the design of the research since it would be simple to introduce it as a standard policy for the government to improve sexual and reproductive health. The originality of this research is that it is the first research in Bolivia that presents an intervention in proactive messaging as well as providing text-based counseling service, and this research also analyses of the use of SMS in preventive health care with adolescents which intends to reduce the gap for primary and preventive health care services important particularly for the poor.
Keywords: component, ICT in sexual health, sexual and reproductive health, adolescents, SMS, Bolivia