Scaling BBC Media Action mHealth services pan-India

, 7 November 2014

I’m exhausted, on the verge of illness and we’re very, very tired in the India office – but – we’re EXCITED!

Why? Because in the last month, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in India has delivered maternal and child health content developed by BBC Media Action to more than 260,000 families.

Kilkari, BBC Media Action’s mobile messaging service for pregnant women and mothers, is being piloted on a huge scale in the Hindi-speaking belt as part of a national scale up by the Indian government.

The 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 nationally.

Mobile Kunji, an audio visual job aid for frontline health works (FLWs); Mobile Academy, an IVR training course for FLWs, and Kilkari, a mobile messaging service for pregnant women and mothers, will be launched on a national platform housed in a government data centre in Delhi in 2015.

At scale, the services could reach an estimated 10 million families and 1.1 million frontline health workers across the country. This scale will be made possible because MoHFW is using 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.

BBC Media Action, in collaboration with the Grameen Foundation and with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is now working to scale the software – including the back-end Motech platform – to handle calls to/from 35 states in India.

The three services were developed under the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-supported Ananya Programme in Bihar. Mobile Kunji and Mobile Academy have already been scaled to the state of Odisha with support from state government and UK Aid’s Department for International Development, and to Uttar Pradesh, with support from the state government and the Gates Foundation.

You can read more about our journey, and the challenges we faced in the development of Mobile Kunji in a special issue of the MIT Innovations journal (page no. 47), launched in Cape Town, South Africa, yesterday. The journal also contains an article (page no. 91) I co-wrote on the importance of making content local – based on our experience of developing Kilkari content for low-income, low-literacy women in Bihar.


Reposted from:  

Read another post by Sara Chamberlain: A lifeline for mothers in Bihar