Bangladesh Blog Tour


April 11, 2012

Bangladesh Blog TourWhat if those new and expectant moms could receive information about pregnancy and newborn care in a way that was timely, relevant, and accurate? What if the people in their community who influence decisions about food purchases, where a woman should give birth, and money for trips to the clinic, were receiving the same type of information?  Mobile phones are making this possible around the world, and the impact is remarkable.

Every day, thousands of mothers receive text messages that coach them through pregnancy and provide information to keep themselves and their babies healthy. The Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA) partnership was founded by USAID and Johnson & Johnson with support from the United Nations Foundation, mHealth Alliance, and BabyCenter. MAMA currently works in Bangladesh, South Africa, and India –countries with high rates of maternal and infant mortality, but also with high rates of mobile usage and ownership.

On a recent trip to Bangladesh, I was able to experience the power of these messages firsthand.  Aponjon, or “trusted friend” in Bengali, is a voice and text message service, supported by MAMA, which was piloted in Bangladesh and is slated for national roll-out starting in July. I learned how services like Aponjon are created and distributed, and spoke with people who subscribe to the service: new and expectant mothers, family members, and community health workers. 

Hundreds of similar pilot programs are popping up all over the world. MAMA takes examples from these programs and its own to develop tools and share this information across the mobile health industry. The goal is to expand successful pilot programs to provide millions of moms with access to this information. 
We’ve created a “blog tour” to share what we learned in Bangladesh, and how we can use this information to help moms and babies across the globe. Visit our partner’s blogs read more, and share!

  • USAID’s site [Live Now], focuses on the importance of linking to local health services to provide moms with more comprehensive care.
  • The UN Foundation’s blog [Live Now] shares how mobile phones can reduce child mortality and improve maternal health.
  • Johnson & Johnson’s site [Live Now] provides an overview of “gatekeepers” – family and community members who provide important input on health services for mothers and children.
  • BabyCenter’s site [Live Now] shows how these messages impact moms and babies, and how all mothers are connected.

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