• Monday, May 20, 2024
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BusinessDay

Airtel partner Grameen Foundation, VAS2nets to launch m-health services

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Determined to reduce infant and maternal mortality rate in Nigeria, India’s, Airtel Nigeria, has partnered with Grameen Foundation and VAS2nets Technologies Limited, to unveil two innovative mobile health services dubbed Mobile Midwife and Dial-a-Doctor.

According to a recent World Health Organisation (WHO) report, Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy by GDP, is classified as one of the 10 countries of the world that contribute about 60 percent of the world’s maternal mortality burden. Mobile Midwife is a tailored mobile service designed to provide vital healthcare and nutrition information. The Dial-A-Doctor service also provides real-time help to pregnant women, nursing mothers and mothers with children under five years of age.

The Airtel Mobile Midwife and Dial-A-Doctor services also offer unhindered access to adequate healthcare services and medical advisories to the target group.

The Mobile Midwife service comes in two variants – Pre-natal services and new born/mother services. Both services are aimed at improving antenatal seeking behaviour of pregnant women and access to validated health and nutrition information. On the other hand, the Dial-a-Doctor service offers subscribers first-hand opportunity to speak to a doctor by dialling 67777. Users are billed N30 per minute when connected to a doctor.

To subscribe and register for the Mobile Midwife pre-natal services, customers are expected to dial 1561. Upon registration, subscribers receive calls from the service, once a week, with information which is tailored to their stage of pregnancy. They can also call in and speak to experienced medical personnel at any time. For new born/mother services, customers are required to dial 1561 to listen to the voice prompt and register for the service.Upon registration, subscribers will receive information, at frequent intervals, via IVR, throughout the first year of the child’s life. The Mobile Midwife subscription service is billed at N30 per week. Subscribers are notified every day for the last 2 days before expiration of their subscription.

Customers registered for the service can also dial 1561 to speak directly with a doctor at N50 per minute at any time and on any day of the week. Commenting on the innovative proposition, Maurice Newa, chief commercial officer, Airtel Nigeria, said the telecommunications company, is intensely interested in the health and general wellbeing of pregnant women and infants, adding that this is consistent with Airtel’s corporate vision of becoming the most loved brand in the daily lives of Nigerians.

According to him, Airtel is committed in its quest of touching lives and enriching Nigerians, noting that the company is deeply interested in reducing infant and maternal mortality across the country.

The Mobile Midwife service was made possible by a grant provided by the GSMA Connected Women Programme to Grameen Foundation with technical support provided by VAS2Nets Technologies Limited. Claire Sibthorpe, director of the GSMA Connected Women Programme, said: “The GSMA Connected Women Programme seeks to accelerate the growth of the female digital economy by working with partners to bring significant socio-economic benefits to women consumers and employees.

One way this can be achieved is by delivering life-enhancing mobile services for women and the Mobile Midwife service is a great example of this. It will create social impact by providing medically-proven, locally relevant health information to pregnant women and nursing mothers in Nigeria.”

The CEO of VAS2Nets Technologies Limited, Ayo Stuffman also emphasises on the need to prevent majority of death by using the intelligence and analytics of mobile health care solutions.

Ben Uzor