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India launches IAP HealthPhone programme

Jun 04, 2015

The IAP HealthPhone initiative is a three-year campaign expected to benefit 60 million children in India by the year 2025.

New Delhi: In its endeavour to address the issue of malnutrition in children and women in India, the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD), has taken a technology driven route by launching ‘IAP HealthPhone’ – a digital mass education programme on malnutrition.

The programme aims to tackle the challenge of malnutrition among mothers and children. Under this initiative, UNICEF and Vodafone India have collaborated with Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) and the MWCD to address the issue digitally to educate the masses, especially the rural women.

Speaking at the launch of the programme, Minister for WCD, Maneka Gandhi said, "It is an innovative programme that will reach to the masses, especially rural women. The idea of paying an incentive for watching these videos is really unique and encouraging."

Under the public-private partnership initiative, promotion and distribution of four re-edited videos from the Poshan (nutritional videos ) series in 18 different languages, jointly produced by the MWCD and UNICEF, is aimed at reaching six million girls and women, aged between 13 to 35 years by the year 2018.

Under this initiative, promotion and distribution of four re-edited videos from the Poshan series in 18 different languages is aimed at reaching six million girls and women, aged between 13 to 35 years by the year 2018.

Acknowledging that the problem of malnutrition is an unsolved issue, the minister said that the subject needs special focus for the development of the country.

She added, "Malnutrition is partly an issue of lack of means of nutrition and partly lack of knowledge. In this direction, the ministry had produced a series of videos in all the national languages to reach out to the masses. This initiative will add to the ministry's efforts on tackling malnutrition."

In the first phase of the programme, a leading telecom service provider, will enable its customers to view or download the videos free of data charges, and on viewing the four videos, the user will receive a talk time incentive of Rs 10. In the second phase, grassroots health functionaries like the AWW, ASHAs and ANMs will be equipped with a HealthPhone microSD card, containing a library of videos.

A senior official in the ministry informed that the IAP HealthPhone initiative is a three-year campaign expected to benefit the health of 60 million children in India by 2025 and will be a transformative element for India's fight against malnutrition.

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