10 million women to receive vital health education through mobiles
IMImobile has teamed up with BBC Media Action, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to roll out free mobile health education services for the Government of India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to nearly 10 million families and one million community health workers across India.
Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, JP Nadda, recently launched a program to roll out two mobile health services developed by BBC Media Action and powered by IMImobile’s technology nationwide. These m-health services use the IMIconnect communications technology platform to make pre-recorded audio health messages available to millions of women. The services will educate families about simple steps that new and expectant mothers can take to improve their health, and the health of their children.
The Mobile Academy service is a voice based mobile training course on reproductive, maternal, new-born and child health for community health workers, designed to expand their knowledge of life-saving preventative healthcare and enhance their capacity to engage effectively with families. Front-line workers can access the course from any phone and complete it at their convenience.
Also, the Kilkari service is an IVR subscription service that delivers time-sensitive audio information about maternal and child health to the mobile phones of husbands, their pregnant wives, and young children for up to 72 weeks. The information is linked to the woman’s stage of pregnancy and/or child’s age.
The services are currently being launched in Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh, and are already targeting 850,000 families every week.
Jay Patel, CEO, IMImobile, commented: “We are delighted to support the launch of these vital services to improve front line health communication in areas where mobile communication is the only viable option for providing much needed health advice. This key initiative highlights how the use of mobile engagement technologies can make a huge difference to people’s lives.
“There are over one billion mobile users in India and we hope to play a crucial role in assisting organisations that need scalable multi-channel technologies in order to realise the vision of a Digital India.”
Rahul Mullick, head of ICT and supply chain at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said: “The national launch of m-health services is a great step towards leveraging India’s increasing mobile penetration to make healthcare services accessible to everyone across India. We at the foundation believe technology can offer compelling solutions in solving public health challenges and are committed to supporting the government in its ambitious agenda of prioritising equitable access to public health services.”
Meanwhile, Sara Chamberlain, digital director, BBC Media Action India, added: “The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s commitment to using mobile phone technology to provide free reproductive, maternal, neo-natal and child health education to every new and expecting mother in India is a ground breaking step towards realising the vision of digital India. We are proud to be a part of this transformational initiative.”