Knowledge-sharing in mHealth is critical to providing life-saving solutions for moms

 

Every minute at least one woman dies from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth and every year 8.8 million children die before the age of five. We know what interventions make a difference on maternal and infant mortality. We now know that one billion women in low to middle-income countries own a mobile phone – a tool that can be used to engage, educate, and empower mothers. In order for mobile to be scaled to address health issues, global communities must come together to openly share lessons learned, failures, best practices and introduce new solutions to help underserved populations – women in developing countries.

Mobile health (mHealth) is a solution for women, providing immediate, life-saving services to address dire maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) challenges. This emerging field - a global movement - is reaching mothers, who need health services the most. No one organization, ministry of health, or company can do it alone, which is why knowledge-sharing through a global, mobile community is needed more than ever.

In a new report, Sparking a Global Movement with MAMA, commissioned by Johnson & Johnson, a partner of the Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA), over 230 organizations, from almost 60 countries downloaded MAMA’s free, adaptable vital health mobile messages. Organizations continue to use these messages to guide mothers through pregnancy and now up to their baby’s third birthday.  As a result, more organizations using these messages are sharing back their key findings and translated the messages in 20 languages.  Because of these organizations, which include social enterprises, health organizations, and governments, we all have a new resource in the mHealth space focused on MNCH. 

This is an example of why knowledge-sharing is so important to improving the delivery of mHealth for MNCH, but more participation is needed. We must continue to showcase how organizations have used vital health mobile tools including key takeaways on how to sustain and scale mHealth programs for moms in developing countries, who depend on mHealth.

Having access to these culturally sensitive, vital health mobile messages is like “having a hospital at home,” said Nahura Sharon, a new mother in Uganda, receives mobile messages through Living Goods, an organization that empowers women and operates networks of micro-entrepreneurs, who provide life-changing products and services.

Other organizations like Liga Inan in Timor-Leste translated mobile messages in Tetum, a local language and are reaching mothers, family members and community health workers. In Tanzania, Wazazi Nipendeni, a national multi-media campaign on health pregnancy, is using vital health mobile messages in partnership with the Ministry of Health. In less than six months, Wazazi Nipendeni reached 150,000 active subscribers and delivered over nine million text messages.

The desire for knowledge-sharing continues to grow as well as the need for mobile content like messages for family planning and for mothers with children ages 1-3 years old.  

This report and other knowledge-sharing resources help foster global learning and build alliances with a growing community interested in working together, aiming to save lives through mobile technology.

 

 

 

 

 

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