State Dept. Launches Mobility Program for Maternal Health

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The State Department on Wednesday announced the creation of the Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA), which will harness the power of mobile technology to deliver vital health information to new and expectant mothers.

“This is an exciting approach to using technological innovation to address development challenges,” said United States CTO Aneesh Chopra. “The growing global network of mobile health information programs will deepen our understanding of how best to use mobile phones as a tool to improve women’s and children’s health.”

The partnership leverages the collective resources of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Johnson & Johnson, with support from the United Nations Foundation, mHealth Alliance and BabyCenter LLC.

It will use the organizations collective resources to send expecting mothers information for how to care for themselves during pregnancy, dispel myths and misconceptions, highlight warning signs, and other necessary information.

The partnership will work across an initial set of three countries — Bangladesh, India, and South Africa — to help coordinate and increase the impact of existing mobile health programs, provide resources and technical assistance to promising new business models, and build the evidence base on the effective application of mobile technology to improve maternal health.

“If we are going to improve public health across the developing world, our solutions must be focused on reaching the hard to reach with health information they otherwise would not receive,” said USAID Administrator Raj Shah. “This partnership will harness the power of mobile technology to provide mothers with information about pregnancy, childbirth, and the first year of life, empowering these women to make healthy decisions for themselves and their families.”

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Aneesh Chopra, Departments, mobile and wireless, mobility, State Department, Tech
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