Dr. Francesco Iacoella

The Changing Role of Communication Technology in Reproductive Health: Essays from Sub-Saharan Africa

Year: 2022

Franziska Gassmann and Nyasha Tirivayi


The thesis investigates the changing role of different communication technologies in fostering better reproductive health attitudes and behaviour. The document comprises four empirical studies, of which the first two provide an initial analysis of determinants of maternal healthcare access and the role of old and new communication technologies in fostering access to maternal health and contraception. The second part of the manuscript investigates more in detail the impact of mobile phone technology on HIV testing uptake and HIV-related public stigma, providing insights on its magnitude and the mechanisms through which the impact is achieved. The thesis demonstrates that mobile phone technology has become a key element in shaping attitudes towards maternal health and contraceptive use, replacing TV and radio as the go-to communication technology. Similarly, it has been positively increasing HIV testing uptake and reducing prejudice towards people living with HIV.