Ooredoo grows mWomen initiative with GSMA


Maternal health service set to Launch in Myanmar with support from GSMA Foundation

Mobile operator, Ooredoo, today announced the ongoing extension of its award-winning mWomen programme, which aims to use mobile technology to empower women across its regional footprint in the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia.

Ooredoo Myanmar announced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that it is the latest recipient of an Innovation Fund grant from the GSMA Foundation, to support the launch of a multi-tier maternal health service in partnership with a range of local and international partners.

Ooredoo, formerly known as Qatar Telecom or Qtel, stated the service, which will draw upon Ooredoo's expertise in delivering information-based mobile services for women, will provide access to maternal healthcare information via mobile devices free of charge.

Myanmar currently faces a number issues related to maternal health, including a high infant mortality rate and challenging levels of baby malnutrition, and more than 70% of births occur outside a professional medical service. This 'first of a kind' service will offer medically-proven content to women, as well as direct channels for users to contact medical professionals about specific health issues and seek treatment as required.

Dr. Nasser Marafih, group CEO, Ooredoo, said: 'We believe every woman should have an equal opportunity to use a mobile phone. Ooredoo has developed a lot of experience in delivering mobile services for women across our footprint, particularly from pioneering operations like Asiacell and Indosat [Ooredoo-owned telcos]. We work with content experts, NGOs and leading developers to ensure that the information is accessible, relevant and tailored for women's needs. We are now able to develop a cutting edge service that tackles a vital social issue in Myanmar, and are delighted to receive the support of the GSMA Innovation Fund to do so.'

One of the apps on display at the Ooredoo pavilion in Barcelona is WOBE, the winning app in the mWomen Design Challenge, organised by the GSMA in partnership with USAID and AusAID and Ooredoo. WOBE gives women control over their phone resources, providing prominent airtime and battery management widgets, along with cost conscious phone sharing and emergency SMS features.

Ooredoo's programme, which has seen success in markets as diverse as Iraq, Indonesia, Qatar and Algeria, has received significant international attention in recent years and has been expanded to include Ooredoo's latest market, Myanmar.  Ooredoo changed its name from Qatar Telecom in February 2013.


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