India launches Mobile Health Program

The government of India has launched a nationwide mobile health program powered by Grameen Foundation´s Motech designed to train community health workers and to directly reach millions of women within three years, the company said.

Grameen Foundation is a global nonprofit that combines mobile technology and strategic partnerships to bring life-saving and life-changing information and services to millions of the world´s rural poor. It constantly innovates to provide financial services, agricultural knowledge tools, market opportunities and health information to even the most remote communities.

India´s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare announced the national roll out of two Motech-powered programs developed by BBC Media Action, Mobile Academy and Kilkari, both aimed at addressing health challenges that result in high infant and maternal mortality rates.

Kilkari, which is the Hindi word for “a baby´s gurgle,” directly calls pregnant women and mothers, delivering crucial health information targeted to their stage of pregnancy or their infant´s age.

Mobile Academy uses Interactive Voice Response (IVR) messages on mobile phones to train front-line health workers in maternal and infant care. The health workers, known as ASHAs (Accredited Social Health Activists), are selected by the village they serve, and are central to India´s strategy to improve maternal and child health.

Grameen Foundation develops tools that increase the effectiveness of poverty-focused organizations. Its initiatives are designed to achieve widespread impact and use an open-source approach that can be broadly adopted by development organizations.