Country of Operation
- Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA) BangladeshNot-for-profit
- United Nations FoundationForeign aid agency or multilateral organization
- mHealth AllianceNot-for-profit
Target income level
- Bottom 20%
SummaryAponjon (aka MAMA Bangladesh) is a global public-private health information service created by USAID's Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA) initiative to help pregnant women, new mothers and their families receive behavior change communication messages via mobile phone.
In Bangladesh pregnant women and new mothers don’t have access to timely, reliable and culturally relevant information about how to best care for themselves and their babies. Although there has been some improvement over the past ten years, it remains a fact that death due to pregnancy, childbirth, and infancy-related causes are high in Bangladesh. These deaths are often preventable with basic knowledge and care. Aponjon was created to provide this basic knowledge and care, by providing new and expectant moms with vital stage-based information via mobile phones. The initiative aims to reach 3 million women and family members (approximately 2m women and 1m family members) within the first 3 years.
Key program components
Aponjon (Bengali for "Trusted Friend") works as a mobile-messaging based service, providing moms and the gatekeepers within their families (usually spouses, mothers, and mothers-in-law) with information about how to take care of themselves and their babies. It also includes an entirely separate service for husbands that reinforces the messages that their wives are receiving, and includes information on how to best care for their loved ones during pregnancy and early childhood. Subscribers who register indicate their expected due date, or the birthday of their recently-born child, and receive weekly messages timed to the stage of pregnancy or the age of their newborn. MAMA messages include information on self-care during and after pregnancy, as well as information on when to seek care and how to care for a newborn. MAMA Bangladesh has also recognized the need for linking subscribers to local health services, and has built strong relationships with local health providers to accomplish this. The program charges 2 taka (about 2.5 US cents) per message and will provide the service free of charge to at least 20% of the women who sign up for the service. More than 1,800 women have registered for the program in three districts.