10 million families and one million community health workers in India are to receive vital health education via mobile technologies in an initiative rolled out by IMImobile, BBC Media Action and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The new health education services are part of a program launched by the Government of India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

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 two services are:

1) 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.

2) 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.

Rahul Mullick, Head of ICT and Supply Chain at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said: “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.”

The services are currently being launched in Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh, and are already targeting 850,000 families every week.

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Alex is The Influence Expert at www.theinfluenceexpert.com. He is the Assistant Editor of Good News Shared, a social entrepreneur and the Founder of Young Charity Trustees.

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