Print
XClose
Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Women and Child Development
02-June-2015 18:54 IST
Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi launches IAP HealthPhone programme

IAP HealthPhone is the world’s largest digital mass education programme to address malnutrition in women and children

This unique and innovative initiative will add to the Ministry’s efforts on tackling malnutrition, says Minister

The Union Minister of Women and Child Development Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi launched the IAP HealthPhone programme in New Delhi today. The IAP HealthPhone programme is the world’s largest digital mass education programme for addressing the malnutrition in women and children. This programme is launched by the Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) in partnership with the Ministry of Women and Child Development, UNICEF and supported by Vodafone India. This programme aims to tackle the challenge of malnutrition in mothers and children across India.

Speaking on the occasion, Mrs Maneka Sanjay Gandhi said that it is an innovative initiative that will reach out to the masses specially the rural females. She said that the idea of paying an incentive for watching these videos is really unique and encouraging. She hoped that will make a difference in generating awareness about the issues related to health and malnutrition at a large scale.

The Minister said that the problem of malnutrition in India is a well-known fact and the Government has been taking various steps to address this through a number of programmes. Malnutrition is partly an issue of lack of means of nutrition and partly lack of knowledge about proper method of nutrition. The Ministry of Women and Child Development through its ICDS programme has been providing supplementary nutrition to the pregnant and lactating mothers as well as children upto the age of 6 years. The Ministry has also been undertaking information and education campaigns to sensitize people about the correct nutritional methods. In this direction the Ministry had produced a series of videos in all national languages so as to reach out to every citizen of the country. This initiative will add to the Ministry’s efforts on tackling malnutrition, she added.

She hoped that more organizations from the business and civil society will come forward to join hands with the Ministry to take up more such initiatives.

The launch of the IAP Health Phone was followed by a question answer session. Addressing the media, she said that awareness should be generated about the potential effects of the malnutrition on a person. All sections of society should work together to address the issue of malnutrition, she added.

The IAP HealthPhone is a public-partnership initiative that leverages the increasing penetration of mobile phones in the country to educate over 6 million girls and women between 13 and 35 years of age and their families on better health and nutrition practices by 2018. The programme will achieve its objectives by widely promoting and distributing four re-edited videos from the Poshan (nutritional videos) series, jointly produced by Ministry of Women and Child Development and UNICEF in 18 Indian languages. The Poshan videos address issues of status of women, the care of pregnant women and children under two, breastfeeding and the importance of balanced diet, health and simple changes in nutritional care practices that can notably enhance nutritiona levels.

The programme will achieve its objectives by widely promoting and distributing four re-edited videos from the Poshan series, jointly produced by MWCD and UNICEF in 18 Indian languages. The Poshan videos address issues of status of women, the care of pregnant women and children under two, breastfeeding and the importance of balanced diet, health and simple changes in nutritional care practices that can notable enhance nutrition levels.

To start the programme, IAP has forged a unique partnership with Vodafone India to encourage the viewing of the four videos. Vodafone will enable its customers to view/download the videos free of data charges and on viewing the 4 videos, the user will receive a talk time incentive of Rs.10/-.

Vodafone will send out approximately 300 million text messages to its subscribers every year to promote the viewing of the four videos. It will also support IAP to undertake a comprehensive communication campaign to promote the IAP HealthPhone programme across the country via print and social media.

IAP HealthPhone partners are committed to strengthen the programme through their networks and sync their efforts to address malnutrition systemically. As next step they will also equip AWW, ASHAs and ANMs with a HealthPhone microSD card, containing a library of videos, to enable them to share health and nutrition knowledge with women, families and the communities they serve. They plan to partner with social media giants (such as Facebook, Twitter and Google) to use their exponentially growing channels to reach more-rural and urban-caregivers.

The three-year campaign by IAP HealthPhone is expected to benefit the health of 60 million children in India born by 2025 and will be transformative for India’s fight against malnutrition.

Senior officials of the Ministry of Women and Child Development and other stakeholders related to the programme were also present on the occasion.

***


NK