Mobile Health for Development
For over six years, the United Nations Foundation has been committed to advancing the field of mobile health – the use of mobile technology to improve health outcomes – particularly as it relates to development in low- and middle-income countries. From 2011-2015, the UN Foundation served as the host and a founding partner of the Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA) a public-private partnership between USAID, Johnson & Johnson, the United Nations Foundation and BabyCenter, designed to catalyze a global community to deliver vital health information to new and expectant mothers and their families through mobile phones. MAMA reached more than 7.5 million women and families through country programs in South Africa, Bangladesh, India, and Nigeria, cultivated a vibrant community of like-minded organizations around the world, and further expanded its delivery of critical health information through a partnership with Facebook’s Free Basics platform.
Beyond the impressive number of people reached and two nationally-scaled country programs, results show improved health behaviors from MAMA country program subscribers. These include higher rates of exclusive breastfeeding, delivery in clinics or with a skilled birth attendants, adherence to recommended pre- and post-natal care visits, and recommended vaccinations for mother and child: all behaviors that are known to improve health and save lives of vulnerable mothers and children.
Additionally, from 2009 to 2014, the UN Foundation served as the host of the mHealth Alliance, an organization that played a role in catalyzing the field of mobile health. Two of the flagship projects started under the mHealth Alliance recently concluded: the Every Woman, Every Child Innovation Working Group (IWG) Catalytic mHealth Grant Program, which worked to scale mHealth solutions to improve maternal, newborn, and child health; and the Information and Communication Technologies for Saving One Million Lives (ICT4SOML) initiative, designed to create an enabling environment for the systematic use of information and communications technologies (ICTs) to improve the health system in Nigeria.
As the mHealth space continues to evolve, the UN Foundation remains engaged in the ICT for development space as a host to the Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL).
OUR mHEALTH PRORITIES INCLUDE: