The Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP), in partnership with the Health Phone project of The Mother and Child Health and Education Trust, today announced the formal launch of the nation-wide IAP HealthPhone programme, the world's largest digital mass education undertaking to tackle malnutrition in mothers and children.
IAP Health Phone is a public private partnership initiative that is supported by Vodafone India. This unique programme leverages the increasing penetration of mobile phones and by 2018 will educate over ten million 13-35 year-old women and their families in India on better health and nutrition practices.
The programme will achieve its objectives by widely promoting and distributing on 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 Health Phone programme and to encourage viewing of the four videos, IAP has forged a special partnership with Vodafone India 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 IAP to undertake a comprehensive print and social media communication 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:
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.
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