Organization sends health info via mobile phones
The Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA) celebrates one year of working with local organizations to send timely and culturally sensitive health and wellness information to new and expectant mothers in 22 countries via mobile phones.
MAMA is a $10 million three-year partnership that addresses the 360,000 maternal deaths and 3.1 million newborn deaths that occur each year. It is a collaboration between the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Johnson & Johnson, the United Nations Foundation and BabyCenter. It operates through a secretariat hosted by the mHealth Alliance.
The organization is due to launch nationally in Bangladesh in July, and South Africa will preview its services in May at the GSMA-mHealth Alliance Mobile Health Summit in Cape Town.
Subscribers to the service register by indicating the expected due date or birthday of their recently born child and receive weekly health messages and reminders during the pregnancy and up to the child’s first birthday. Messages include everything from proper nutrition, breastfeeding, vaccinations and referrals to local health resources.
Maternal and infant death rates remain high, and 99 percent of them occur in developing nations. Most of these deaths are preventable with relevant information and care.
“By using available technology and credible health information, the world has the knowledge and the opportunity to stop millions of deaths to moms and babies each year,” said Kirsten Gagnaire, Global Partnership Director at MAMA.
More than one billion women in low- and middle-income countries own mobile phones. Mobile health messages can inform, dispel myths, highlight warning signs and connect pregnant women and new moms with local health services.