Executive Summary

Jembi has been working closely with the South African National Department of Health and mHealth service providers to implement a National Pregnancy Registry (NPR). The NPR is a powerful platform for coalating, exchanging, analyzing and reporting pregnancy data in the public health sector.


The NPR is  a core component of the National Department of Health’s MomConnect programme. MomConnect combines local, user-focused mobile health (mHealth) applications and a quality of service reporting system with the NPR’s powerful health information exchange technology. Together, these complementary technologies create a functional national pregnancy registry that captures relevant demographic and clinical data from pregnant women accessing the South African public health system. The information is used to improve health service delivery and to send consenting pregnant women targeted informational and health promotion messaging about their pregnancies.

The health information exchange technology on which the NPR is based fully implements the requirements of information exchange laid out in the South African National Department of Health’s Normative Standards for Interoperability Framework. The National Pregnancy Registry has a layered application architecture that includes:

  1. Device Layer – the mobile phones and devices that are used to capture data either directly from pregnant women or input by nurses in health facilities.
  2. Service Layer – the application service that collects and collates the data from mobile phones, which is then forwarded on to the National Department of Health. The application service also provides the targeted messaging to pregnant women.
  3. Interoperability Layer – central service designed to receive and monitor data from the different application service providers before sending it on to the pregnancy registry in a standardized format.
  4. Registry Layer – South Africa’s National Pregnancy Registry.
  5. Security Layer – running parallel to the other layers, it includes security certificates and protocols to ensure that data sent from the application services to the National Department of Health is kept private and confidential.

MomConnect image

Data is transferred between the layers using international data and interoperability standards. Maternal registration encounters are captured using a CDA (Clinical Document Architecture) document. In addition, the ITI-65 transaction from the IHE MHD (Mobile Access to Health Documents) profile is used as a transport mechanism for the CDA documents. This transport is used by the mobile application servers for sending clinical encounters to the health information exchange infrastructure for capturing the pregnancy in the National Pregnancy Registry.

Together the health information exchange layers work as the engine that drives the National Pregnancy Registry and MomConnect application, ensuring that data is captured accurately and stored securely, so that messaging can be delivered to mothers throughout South Africa.

 Learn more about Momconnect: Video or Minister A. Motsoaledi and Dr Y Pillay (SABC 2 Morning live show)

Western Cape DOH website citing Jembi: New project connects expectant moms to government health services

Shared blog by Dr Anthony Huszar from DFID: Mobile phones: good for your health?