US, Partners to Tap Mobile Phone Technology to Boost Maternal, Child Health

A mother helped her daughter through her labor in Kyrgyzstan. The Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action is a public-private partnership which aims to harness the power of mobile technology to bring health information to expectant and new mothers. Photo by: Nazgul Abazbekova / USAID

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton unveiled Tuesday (May 3) a public-private partnership that aims to promote and support the use of mobile technology to deliver health information to expectant and new mothers.

The Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action, or MAMA, involves the U.S. Agency for International Development, Johnson & Johnson, the United Nations Foundation, the mHealth Alliance and BabyCenter LLC. The partnership is expected to mobilize $10 million over the next three years.

>> New Public-Private Partnership Ties Technology to Maternal, Child Health Improvement

The alliance will initially work in three countries, namely India, Bangladesh and South Africa. It will help coordinate and increase the impact of mobile health programs, support promising new business models and collect more evidence on the effective use of mobile technology to improve newborn and maternal health.

“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,” USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah said during the launch of the partnership in Washington.

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.