NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Respiratory Health (RESPIRE)

Hana Mahmood

Project: mHealth for Pneumonia Prevention (Embedded PhD project)

PhD overview

  • Acute or chronic:  Acute
  • Country:  Pakistan
  • Based at:  Neoventive Solutions
  • Start date:  01 April 2018
  • End date:  31 March 2021
  • Supervisors:  Brian McKinstry, Karen Fairhurst, Saturnino Luz, Tabish Hazir
  • Email:
Hana Mahmood headshot
RESPIRE PhD student: Hana Mahmood


Pneumonia continues to be the leading cause of under-five morbidity and mortality in Pakistan. Delayed care seeking due to lack of understanding of the seriousness of the disease by the carers is one of the major causes.

The World Health Organization and UNICEF have emphasised the development of innovative, sustainable and cost-effective disease prevention strategies/interventions to improve child health. One such strategy is counselling achieved through community health workers, who are referred to as Lady Health Workers (LHWs) in Pakistan.

With increase in the telecommunication network, we feel that mobile health (mhealth) technology can be used to improve the outcomes in childhood pneumonia. mHealth is defined as the provision of health services and education using mobile phone technology. Service and information delivery through LHWs can be enhanced using this innovative technology called mHealth.

Aim and impact

The aim of this study is to pilot the feasibility of an mHealth based approach to counsel caregivers of children under five by LHWs on timely care seeking for pneumonia. An android based mobile application will be developed, based on existing evidence about the perception and careseeking practices of caregivers.  LHWs will be trained to use it in their rural community.

This PhD is part of a wider RESPIRE project, exploring the reasons for delay in seeking care for pneumonia among caregivers of children under five in Pakistan. It encompasses conduction of a systematic review on mhealth approaches used by CHWs on childhood illnesses followed by formative research to explore pneumonia perception and care-seeking practices. This will inform the mHealth intervention design.

If successful, the mHealth approach would enhance the counselling services of LHWs so that they can effectively communicate and educate the caregivers of children under five in rural communities of Pakistan to help promote timely care seeking and reduce childhood mortality due to pneumonia by bringing about a behaviour change.

Find out more about the wider RESPIRE project on pneumonia care seeking


Community health worker-based mobile health (mHealth) approaches for improving management and caregiver knowledge of common childhood infections: A systematic review.

Mahmood H, Mckinstry B, Luz S, Fairhurst K, Nasim S, Hazir T; RESPIRE Collaboration.

Journal of Global Health. 10, (2) 2020.

Project data

Download the project Data Management Plan

View associated project data on Edinburgh DataShare

View project metadata on the Health Data Research Innovation Gateway

About me

After doing my MBBS, I completed my masters in Health Informatics - an emerging field in health. My focus is mostly on mobile health technologies and I have worked as an academician as well as a researcher. I have been involved in public health research since 2013 and hope to use my expertise in the field of public health informatics.

Three-Minute Thesis-Style Video Competition

For the RESPIRE ASM Showcase on the 24th November 2020, the RESPIRE PhD students recorded videos explaining their research, as part of a Three-Minute Thesis-Style Video Competition. Watch Hana's video below.

Video: MAHMOOD, Hana
RESPIRE 3-Minute Thesis-Style Video Competition - MAHMOOD, Hana - mHealth for Pneumonia (and COVID-19) Prevention

Hana is based at Neoventive Solutions, formerly MNCHRN.