Introduction: There is a need to continue primary healthcare services through digital communication for disadvantaged women living in underdeveloped areas of Pakistan, especially in the age of the coronavirus pandemic, social distancing and lockdown of communities. This project will be the first of its kind in aiming to implement a digital health literacy intervention, using smartphone and internet, to disadvantaged women through female community healthcare workers. Improved health literacy in women of reproductive years is known to promote maternal, child and family health overall.
Methods and analysis: The study will include a baseline survey, a pre- and post-test survey and a 3-month lasting intervention on (1) hygiene and prevention and (2) coronavirus awareness and prevention. Women of reproductive years will be sampled from disadvantaged areas across the four provinces of Pakistan (Baluchistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh), and the selection criteria will be poor, semiliterate or illiterate, belonging to underdeveloped neighbourhoods devoid of universal healthcare coverage and dependent on free primary health services. A target of 1000 women will comprise the sample, with 500 women each assigned randomly to the intervention and control groups. Analysis of variance and multivariate analysis will be used for analysing the intervention's effects compared with the control group.
Ethics and dissemination: Ethics approval for this study has been received from the Internal Review Board of the Forman Christian College University (reference number: IRB-252/06-2020). Results will be published in academic journals of repute and dissemination to the international scientific community and stakeholders will also be planned through workshops.