The more I travel the world, there is one truth that I’ve noticed. Everyone has cell phones.
Even in the poorest corners of the globe, most people have access to a cell phone of some sort. This little bit of technology is a crucial part of their lives for lots of reasons.
During my recent time with The UN Foundation, I learned about the Mobile Alliance For Maternal Action. Affectionately known as MAMA, they are using SMS and audio messages to provide health information to expectant mothers. These health messages and reminders are comprehensive, stage-based and adapted to different languages and to address specific needs.
Every day 1,000 women do not survive child birth or pregnancy. While this happens for a number of reasons, the one MAMA wants to focus on is making sure that the mothers (and their families) have all the information they need about being pregnant.
When an expectant mother signs up for the service they will begin receiving week specific text messages and audio messages telling them what is happening with the baby, nutritional information and suggestions on what they should be doing to take care of themselves. This not only empowers the women, but it serves to educate the entire family on what she should and shouldn’t be doing. In cultures where women spend hours hauling water and bent over a potentially toxic cookstove, they help to lighten the burden on her duties.
We listened to some of the audio messages and they were fun and informative. It was obvious that this was something that a whole family would listen to and enjoy. In many cases this would be the only prenatal care the mother may receive so you can see why it would be so important.
While you can’t donate directly to MAMA, I’m hoping instead you’ll take the time to educate yourself about the great work they do and then tell the world. They’ve established a presence on Facebook and Twitter and donating your voice to the cause is a great way to help out any organization like this. Be sure to watch the video above to get a great sense of what they are all about.