Technology has not only responded to the immediate health challenges of the COVID19- crisis but also the regular health care needs across the continent too. Mobile Operator Vodacom has revolutionized the health care system by digitalizing health care solutions.
Improving the the maternal health is a key focus in the United Nations sustainable developments goals for health and well being. For new mothers in Africa, mobile technologies have the power to enhance the quality of their lives through digital programmes that provide accurate information relating to maternal , neonatal and child health , and overall well-being.
Mum & Baby is a free-of-charge mobile health intervention service that provides Vodacom DRC subscribers with maternal, neonatal and child health information designed to encourage good health practices amongst pregnant women, mothers, partners and caregivers. Mondia creates Mum & Baby’s tailored content in the local language, and includes expert articles, videos and information-sharing SMS messages.
Mum & Baby’s future enhancements in the DRC will provide interactive tools including a due-date calculator, an immunisation calendar, medication reminder, medication safety information and other health tools and services. The service is available in French.
The Mum & Baby service provides positive socio-economic benefits in the geographies in which it operates. In a recent KPMG survey conducted to understand the impact of the Mum & Baby service:
- Over 95% of respondents reported that they found the SMS messages received useful or very useful for learning new information about their own and their child/children’s health and wellbeing
- 98% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they had taken actions to improve their child’s health as a result of the information provided through the Mum & Baby service; and
- 98% of pregnant women and mothers surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that they had taken actions to improve their own health as a result of the information provided through the Mum & Baby service.
Dr Amadeo Rahmann, Mondia’s Group CEO, said of the partnership, that “accessing healthcare services in Africa can be challenging, and Mum & Baby provides a free and convenient way of accessing instant expert advice where it is most needed. The Mum & Baby service leverages Mondia’s extensive networks and expertise in content production and curation, and we expect it to continue to deliver positive social impact wherever it is rolled out.”
“Ensuring healthy lives and promoting wellbeing for all ages is one of the United Nations (UN)17 Sustainable Development Goals, with the attainment of this goal, especially as it relates to infant health, having been threatened by the burden of COVID-19 on African healthcare systems. According to the World Health Organization, each year around 300 000 African babies die on the day of their birth, most often as a result of inadequate educational maternal and neonatal care. Initiatives that put the power of good health directly in people’s hands are more important than ever”, Dr Rahmann concluded.
“Mum & Baby has become our flagship health and wellness brand focusing on motherhood. We are proud of the way in which it contributes to our vision of building communities, bringing health solutions to more lives and promoting good health outcomes” said Vodacom DRC’s spokesperson.
Launched in South Africa in 2017, the Mum & Baby service had 1.2 million registered subscribers as of August 2018. The next rollout of the service will take place across Lesotho later this month.
The positive impact of digital healthcare initiatives across Africa is still continuing with the innovation of new technologies and expansion of connectivity, so imagine how many more people will benefit from access to improved healthcare and quality life in the future.