Hillary Clinton: Health info via cellphone

May 4, 2011 at 1:00 AM
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WASHINGTON, May 4 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says a new program will use cellphones to deliver health information to new and expectant mothers worldwide.

Clinton says the Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action, known as MAMA, is a partnership among the U.S. Agency for International Development and Johnson & Johnson, with support from the U.N. Foundation, mHealth Alliance and BabyCenter LLC -- developed in collaboration with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Department of State.

The phone messages can quickly and easily disseminate information that will inform women of ways to care for themselves during pregnancy, dispel myths and misconceptions, highlight warning signs, connect women with local health services, reinforce breast feeding practices, explain the benefits of family planning and make new mothers aware of how best to care for their babies, Clinton says in a statement.

Over the next three years, the partnership will work across an initial set of three countries -- Bangladesh, India and South Africa -- and lessons learned there will be shared globally in collaboration among similar initiatives in other countries to accelerate efforts to reach millions of women worldwide.

"If we are going to improve public health across the developing world, our solutions must be focused on reaching the hard to reach with health information they would otherwise not receive," Raj Shah, USAID administrator says.

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