January 23, 2015
India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in close collaboration with BBC Media Action and with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is scaling three of BBC Media Action’s maternal and child health mobile services, built on Grameen Foundation’s MOTECH platform, nationally across 35 states in the country.
Kilkari, an audio messaging service for pregnant women and mothers; Mobile Kunji, an audio visual job aid for Frontline Health Workers (FLWs), and Mobile Academy, an audio training course for FLWs, will be launched on a national Interactive Voice Response (IVR) platform housed in a government data center in Delhi in 2015. All three services will be toll free. These three services were originally developed as part of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-supported Ananya Program, a partnership between the Government and NGOs designed to address maternal and child health, nutrition, and diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases, including tuberculosis, in Bihar.
At scale, the services could reach an estimated 10 million families and 1.1 million FLWs across the country. This kind of scale is possible because the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will use its Maternal and Child Tracking System database (MCTS), where the majority of pregnancies and births in India are registered, to identify women with valid mobile numbers to receive calls.
You can read more about BBC Media Action’s journey, and the challenges faced in the development of Mobile Kunji, in a special issue of the MIT Innovations journal. The journal also contains an article on the importance of localizing content – based on BBC Media Action’s experience of developing Kilkari for low-income, low-literate women in Bihar.