Mobile Phones Play an Important Role in Health Care Coverage: Unilever’s Recent Partnership; Lifebuoy Partners With Power of Nutrition. By Ayinla Daniel

With the aid of technology, health care has been able to improve in all ramifications, from the aspect of getting data, research, to the dissemination of information and communication.

This recent development, brought about by Unilever’s partnership with Lifebuoy and power of Nutrition is going to be a testimony, a result of what technology can do for health care.

The tool of mobile phones used to bring accurate information about hygiene and nutrition to new mothers living in India ( India has the highest number of stunted children in the world, representing one-third of the global total of stunted children under the age of five).

Unilever said this:
“We’re proud to announce a new partnership between our Lifebuoy soap brand and The Power of Nutrition. The partnership will use mobile phones to ensure new mothers have access to hygiene and nutritional information in areas with limited access. Launched at the Concordia Annual Summit alongside the United Nations General Assembly, the partnership hopes to use mobile technology to reach 2.7 million women in India by 2021!”

#UNGA #UniquelyUnilever

Alan Jope, Unilever CEO, said:

“Lifebuoy embodies purposeful brands through its rigorous focus on brand do and making impact on ground. But breakthroughs at scale can only happen when we work together. This partnership combines Unilever’s and Lifebuoy’s marketing and behaviour change expertise, along with The Power of Nutrition’s innovative funding platform, to tackle poor hygiene and malnutrition in an unprecedented way.”

Martin Short, CEO at The Power of Nutrition also stated:

“Investing in hygiene and nutrition has the power to unlock huge social and economic changes, especially in countries with a high burden of stunting. Our partnership with Unilever and Lifebuoy unlocks committed public sector resources and enables us to multiply this funding, thereby maximising the total investment in hygiene and nutrition.”

Mobile Doctarni is the name of this programme used to provide accurate and adequate information to new mothers living in India and it has the following features:

  • Mobile Doctarni is a unique voice-based service that delivers critical health and hygiene information to mothers living in rural parts of India to improve hygiene behaviours such as handwashing with soap to prevent diseases.
  • Mothers give missed calls to the system, which calls back and profiles them according to their pregnancy period or their child’s age. Mothers then receive personalised weekly voice-based hygiene information via mobile for one to two months.
  • The programme targets pregnant or new mothers with children below 28 days of age, or general mothers with older children.
  • Evaluation of the Mobile Doctarni programme showed strong results on handwashing behaviours at key occasions:

– For general mothers: The programme was able to significantly increase handwashing with soap/liquids by about one occasion per day
For pregnant/new mothers: Their frequency of handwashing vastly improved among participants exposed to the campaign – an average of 1.5 times more in handwashing frequency.

This is a great move, it’s a beautiful innovation, as the tool of ICT is used to meet the health needs of new mothers who live in areas where access to efficient health care services or information is difficult or limited. More innovations are needed in the health field that will make access to health care easier for the populations who are at risk.

With the help of data analyses and research, these bodies (Unilever [ Lifebuoy] and Power of Nutrition) were able to identify a problem and solve it with the help of innovations in health care technology.

This is a challenge to mega multinational companies, to seek for methods to address certain health care problems around the globe, especially in the developing worlds and one way they can achieve it is by partnering with various serious-minded organizations, bodies and systems that understand the importance of the health status of a people.

Commentary

By

Ayinla Daniel

(c) Care City. 2019

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