, Program Manager, Mobile Health at UniversalDoctor | Project Coordinator at Zero Mothers Die | Consultant at Advanced Development for Africa
at UniversalDoctor Project, Zero Mothers Die, Advanced Development for Africa
Saving the lives of pregnant women and
children with ICTs and mobile health
Unacceptably High Maternal Mortality
• In 2010, 287,000 women died during and following pregnancy
• Each day, 800 women die from preventable causes related to
pregnancy or childbirth complications.
• 99% of these maternal deaths occurred in developing countries,
with more than half taking place in sub-Saharan Africa.
• 24% of these deaths are attributable to HIV in SubSaharan Africa.
• Most of these deaths could have been prevented.
[source: WHO Maternal Mortality Fact Sheet]
Unacceptably High Child Mortality
• In 2012, 6.6 million children under the age of five died.
• 44% of child deaths under the age of five occur during
the neonatal period.
• About 45% of all child deaths are linked to malnutrition.
• More than half of these early child deaths are due to conditions
that could be prevented or treated with access to simple,
• Safe childbirth and effective neonatal care are essential
to prevent these deaths.
[source: WHO Child Mortality Fact Sheet]
Zero Mothers Die
A global and innovative project to save
the lives of pregnant women, new mothers
and their babies through the systematic
use of information and communication
technologies (ICTs) and mobile health.
ZERO MOTHERS DIE
A Multistakeholder Public-Private
Report on the
Leveraging Mobiles & ICTs
6.8 billion mobile
[source: ITU World
Telecommunication / ICT
Significant growth of
in the developing
[source: 2012 Information
and Communications for
WHY MOBILE HEALTH?
Mobile phone networks cover 96% of the world's population.
• 77% of all mobile subscriptions are held by nearly 90%
of the population in low- and middle-income countries.
The impact of mobile phone technology on health, including
maternal health, can be far-reaching, cost-effective and
MOBILE HEALTH for MATERNAL HEALTH
Mobile health initiatives cover a wide range of
remote patient monitoring
Mobile health initiatives targeting MDGs 4 and
5 are reaching over 140 million women. See:
Reducing maternal and child mortality through increased access
Accelerating mobile phone ownership and use by pregnant
Education and capacity-building of local health workers using
by pregnant women to appropriate healthcare information, via mobile
voice and text messages in local languages and dialects.
women to increase access to healthcare, empower women with
information, and reduce the mobile phone gender gap. This includes
facilitating connections with healthcare workers through allocations of
free airtime restricted to calling assigned local healthcare facilities and
tablets preloaded with up-to-date and tailored training materials and
content in local dialects and languages to improve maternal and child
health in their communities.
MumHealth, a mobile
messaging service delivering
health information to
pregnant women and new
mothers in local languages
100,000 mobile phones
per year to pregnant
of free airtime per year to
pregnant women to enable
their communication with
local health workers and
education of local health
workers using ICTs and
Mobile money savings
scheme to help finance and
increase access to skilled
care during childbirth.
Solar power business
generation scheme to bring
financial empowerment to
pregnant women and
provide sustainable energy
to support the charging of
their mobile phones.
Pregnant Women &
• Community & Frontline Health Workers
In addition to locally developed content, MumHealth will
incorporate evidence-based mobile messages from MAMA. The
messages will be tailored and localized by UniversalDoctor.
Culturally sensitive and stage-based messages created by
BabyCenter according to UNICEF and WHO guidelines, and
vetted by WHO.
Used by 266 organizations in 61 countries.
The messages are built around key health behaviors and
interventions which evidence shows can improve health
Topics: antenatal care, nutrition, vaccination, PMTCT, infant
feeding, oral rehydration, use of insecticide-treated bednets,
and post-partum family planning.
1 Discrimination due to HIV stigmatization
Zero Mothers Die will target all expectant and new
mothers, instead of only HIV-positive pregnant women, by
employing a comprehensive approach to improving
maternal, newborn and child health, while maintaining the
prevention of mother-to-child-transmission of HIV (PMTCT)
and systematic use of ICTs as key elements.
This strategy will also ensure women who would become
HIV seropositive during pregnancy will not be lost by the
2 Language and illiteracy barriers
• The MumHealth repository of mobile messages will be
developed in key languages/dialects in the area of
• The messages will be tailored and localized for target
• Regarding illiteracy and disabilities, Interactive Voice
Response (IVR) technology will be used to develop voice
messages as an alternative solution by offering prerecorded audio information in different languages/dialects.
3 Low mobile phone ownership levels
• Local intelligence gathering suggests there is no mobile
phone gender gap in Greater Accra.
According to local partners, it is almost 100% certain that
women will own at least one mobile phone.
Spouses controlling the mobile phones and restricting access
by the women is an unlikely risk in Greater Accra.
• In any case, Zero Mothers Die endeavors to equip at-risk,
low-resource pregnant women who do not own a mobile
4 Misuse or resale of the mobile phones
• The mobile phones distributed through the project* will be
uniquely designed with limited (i.e. non-smartphone)
functionality to avoid this.
• If this is a significant risk, the project can restrict the numbers
that can be dialed through the mobile phone.
*Zero Mothers Die will ensure the mobile phones acquired and distributed by
the project to the pregnant women will come from responsible mobile phone
manufacturers who are reliable in providing quality mobile phones.
This will be achieved through concrete actions:
Engaging local Ministries, agencies and stakeholders in the
project processes (design, implementation, evaluation, etc.) to
promote buy-in and local ownership.
Seeking alignment with the Ministry of Health’s national health
priorities and plans and the National eHealth Strategy.
Ensuring Zero Mothers Die is integrated with local health services
and health information management systems, and thereby
within local health ecosystems.
Establishing an inclusive business model to ensure long-term
sustainability and limit burdens on budgets.
Ghana, one of the UNAIDS Global Plan target countries,
has been chosen in consultation with the partners as the
first implementation country for Zero Mothers Die.
The initial implementation phase will take place in
Greater Accra in partnership with the Ministry of Health of
Ghana, Office of the First Lady &other key local partners.
Partnership & Investment
Mobile Phones for
Airtime & SMS for
For more information and partnership opportunities
Zero Mothers Die Project Coordinator