Look who is helping India fight her battle against malnutrition

|June 2, 2015 0

MUMBAI, INDIA: The Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) has launched an IAP HealthPhone, said to be the world’s largest digital mass education program to address malnutrition in women and children in the country.

The initiative is in partnership with the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD), Government of India, UNICEF and is supported by Vodafone India.

In this unique program, IAP plans to share four re-edited videos from the Poshan series, jointly produced by MWCD and UNICEF in 18 Indian languages among 6 million girls and women between 13 and 35 years on health and nutrition practices.

The Poshan videos address issues such as care for pregnant women and children under two, the importance of breastfeeding and balanced diet, nutrition, etc.

On its part, 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. Plus the mobile major will send out 300 million text messages to its subscribers every year to promote the 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.

As the next step, IAP HealthPhone partners will:
• Equip AWW, ASHAs and ANMs with a HealthPhone microSD card, containing a library of videos to enable them to share health & nutrition knowledge with women, families and the communities they serve.
• Partner with social media giants (such as Facebook, Twitter and Google) to use their exponentially growing channels to reach more caregivers.

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

SS Kamath, President, IAP, states, “Almost 33 percent of the world’s malnourished children live in India. Mass education about the seriousness of this problem, its pitfalls and easy solutions, is critical among women of child bearing age, mothers and their immediate families. Working integrally with HealthPhone, we aim to jointly educate the caregivers so and in time change their behavior to address this issue comprehensively.”

Nand Wadhwani, Founder, HealthPhone, says, “The three-year campaign by IAP HealthPhone will be transformative for India’s fight against malnutrition and is expected to directly benefit the health of 100 million children born in India by 2025. We look forward to India’s children thriving from the power of their knowledgeable mothers.”

Louis-Georges Arsenault, UNICEF Representative to India, remarks, “The consequences of chronic under-nutrition are irreversible and life-long, ultimately leading to a loss estimated to be over 3 percent of the GDP. The expected returns are high with every rupee invested more than 16 will be returned, largely from better health and productivity.”

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