The Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action has announced the launch of a nationwide mobile health service in Bangladesh to deliver critical information designed to reduce maternal and child mortality.
The "Aponjon" ("trusted one") service delivers culturally appropriate voice messages tailored to each stage of pregnancy and the baby's first year. MAMA Bangladesh hopes to reach two million people through the service with information about breastfeeding, baby care, and the importance of regular clinic visits by 2015. More than twelve thousand mothers, family members, and organizations have already registered for the program, which was piloted by seven hundred and fifty community health workers trained by D.Net.
Launched in 2011 on Mother's Day, MAMA, an innovative public-private partnership involving the United States Agency for International Development, Johnson & Johnson, the United Nations Foundation, the mHealth Alliance, and BabyCenter, is working to advance progress on two of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals — reducing child mortality and improving maternal health. The partnership made an initial investment of $10 million to create and strengthen maternal health programs in Bangladesh, India, and South Africa.
"MAMA's work in Bangladesh continues to show the power of mobile technology to improve the health of vulnerable communities across the country. Families rely on Aponjon to get direct information in their language, right in the palm of their hands," said MAMA global director Kirsten Gagnaire. "MAMA Bangladesh has been recognized for its unique national scale model which informs the global health community's knowledge of how to use mobile technology to improve the lives of pregnant women, new mothers, and their families."