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IAP HealthPhone Launches the World’s Largest Digital Mass Education Programme to Focus on Mother and Child Malnutrition

New Delhi, 2 June 2015


The Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) and the HealthPhone project of The Mother and Child Health and Education Trust (MCHET) today announced the formal launch of the nation-wide IAP HealthPhone pro-gramme, the world's largest digital mass education undertaking to tackle malnutrition in mothers and children.

 

MCHET is a charitable trust that strongly advocates for the power of knowledge to educate, motivate, empow-er and inspire communities, and particularly women, to improve health practices for the benefit of children. HealthPhone is a strategic and creative initiative of MCHET. The IAP HealthPhone programme was estab-lished through the vision of Nand Wadhwani to address the crying need for health and nutrition information and education in India.


IAP HealthPhone is a public private partnership initiative of HealthPhone that is being implemented under the aegis of the Indian Academy of Pediatrics, in partnership with the Ministry of Women and Child De-velopment, UNICEF and Aamir Khan, and with support from Vodafone. This unique programme leverages the increasing penetration of mobile phones and by 2018 will educate over ten million 13-35 year-old girls and women and their families in India on better health and nutrition practices.


The programme will achieve its objectives by widely promoting and distributing through mobile phones four videos on: i) issues regarding the status of women; ii) the care of pregnant women and children under two; iii) the importance of breastfeeding and good nutrition; and iv) simple changes in diet and caring practices that can significantly enhance nutrition status. The videos are updates from the Poshan series, jointly produced by MWCD and UNICEF in 18 Indian languages.


As a powerful boost to the IAP HealthPhone programme and to encourage viewing of the four videos, a spe-cial partnership with Vodafone India has been forged which will enable its customers not only to view/download the videos free of data charges but also, on viewing all four videos, to receive Rs. 10 worth of free talk-time.


Vodafone will also send out approximately 300 million text messages every year to its 184 million subscribers to encourage viewing of the four videos and will support a comprehensive print and social media communica-tion campaign to promote the programme across the country.


IAP HealthPhone and its partners are committed to strengthening the programme through their networks and to synchronise their efforts to address malnutrition systemically. As next steps they will:

  • equip frontline health workers (Anganwadis, ASHAs and ANMs) with a HealthPhone microSD card, containing a comprehensive library of videos, to enable them to share health and nutrition knowledge with women, families and the communities they serve;
  • partner with social media giants (such as Facebook, Twitter and Google) to use their exponentially-growing channels to reach more caregivers, both rural and urban.

Harnessing the power of affordable and ubiquitous technology, the three-year IAP HealthPhone campaign has the potential to benefit the health of tens of millions of children in India in the years to come and will be truly transformative in educating mothers at the front-line of India’s fight against malnutrition.

For additional information, please contact Nand Wadhwani at nand@motherchildtrust.org