|By PR Newswire||
|December 23, 2013 08:04 AM EST||
MUMBAI, December 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
First of its kind public-private partnership between an NGO, Corporate and Government Institution, coming together for a social cause
mMitra, a free mobile based Health Advisory Voice Messaging Service for pregnant women and mothers was launched at Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital (Sion Hospital) recently. Present on the occasion were Mr. Jayant Banthia (Ex-Chief Secretary of Government of Maharashtra), Dr. Ashwini Gandhi (Vice President, FOGSI), Dr. Aparna Hegde (Founder, Chairperson and Managing Trustee, ARMMAN), Ms. Cheryl Pinto (Director, Corporate Affairs Glenmark), Dr. Mamta Manglani (HOD, Dept. of Paediatrics, LTMGH) and other dignitaries.
Targeted at the less privileged pregnant women and mothers, the mMitra service will provide comprehensive information on preventive care with an objective of reducing maternal and infant mortality and morbidity. These medically verified voice messages will be sent in relevant regional languages and have been researched and developed to create the desired impact on even uneducated women.
The implementation of this innovative project has been made possible due to public-private partnership between Glenmark - a leading pharmaceutical company, NGO - ARMMAN and Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital, a leading medical institution.
Dr. Aparna Hegde, MD and Founder, Chairperson & Managing Trustee, ARMMAN, said, "mMitra was born from my experience of being a Doctor & Lecturer at Sion Hospital during which I saw several women developing complications during pregnancy and child birth which could have been avoided had they received preventive healthcare information during this critical period. Also, as Public Hospitals are usually overcrowded, offering appropriate counseling to pregnant women is a quite a challenge for the Doctors. mMitra is developed to envoy like a loyal friend and companion that will gently guide the woman through pregnancy and infancy."
Ms. Cheryl Pinto, Director, Corporate Affairs, Glenmark, said, "When Armman approached us with this concept of delivering informative and medically relevant voice messages for pregnant women and mothers, we realized the enormous potential of this idea - how through smart use of available technology we can play a huge role in impacting lives. It's also a model that's scalable and can be replicated by any institution desiring to improve public health in our country." She further added, "Public Private Partnership between Glenmark NGO ARMMAN and Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital has resulted in this transformational solution created with the ultimate objective of reducing maternal and child mortality and infant morbidity among the less privileged pregnant women and new mothers."
To start off around 5000 women attending the antenatal clinic of Sion hospital will now receive mMitra Voice Messages as a part of their antenatal and infancy care over two years. Medically verified, individualized voice messages of 60 - 90 seconds (145 messages in all) in Hindi or Marathi will be sent directly to the mobile phones of each enrolled woman with the following frequency:
- Pregnancy: Two messages per week
- First week after birth: Once a day
- Infancy until month 3: Two messages per week
- Infancy month 3 - month 12: One message per week
A timed and targeted behaviour change communication (BCC) is necessary to motivate people to adopt better antenatal, perinatal and infancy care practices. Counselling can lead to behaviour change only when the information is culturally specific, in the local language or dialect and reinforced by repetition over a period of time. A voice messaging service that disseminates information directly to the mother can improve and ensure that messages reach underprivileged, illiterate women and the most vulnerable group in urban India. Also, alternatives like text messages cannot be used in case of illiterate women and they also lack the emotional connect of voice messages.
ARMMAN primarily support poverty affected women and children, especially those women who are fighting with their fate to survive being single mothers, and work with the following vulnerable populations. ARMAAN Welfare Foundation serves in the following areas like promoting health awareness, providing educational opportunities for children and supporting economic empowerment through small loans (microcredit) & training for women that facilitates entrepreneurship & fosters small business development.
About Glenmark Foundation
Glenmark Foundation (the CSR arm of Glenmark Group) has been actively engaged in strategising, implementing and creating social impact through community based programmes on issues related to Child Health and creating a Sustainable livelihood for the marginalized and vulnerable sections of our society. Glenmark Foundation is committed towards improving Child Health, which is its flagship CSR programme. Within the cause of Child Health it aims at addressing United Nation's Millennium Development Goal (MDG)-4 which is reducing child mortality.
The foundation has taken up projects in regions where both infant and child mortality is very high. It is working at the grassroots with its NGO partners in Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh (Central) India, Sangner, Rajasthan ( North-West India) and in slums of Andheri in Mumbai, Maharashtra (West India), Solan District, Himachal Pradesh & in slums of Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya.