IAP HealthPhone: World’s Largest Digital Mass Education Programme

IAP HealthPhone

IAP HealthPhoneGovernment of India has launched IAP HealthPhone in collaboration with the Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) and the Ministry of Women and Child Development, UNICEF. Supported by Vodafone India, which is providing technological support for its vast scale and pan-India implementation, this is considered as the world’s biggest digital mass education programme. Union Minister of Women and Child Development, Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, officially launched this program on 2 June 2015.

Objective of the HealthPhone programme

  • To fight malnutrition in India.
  • To reach out to every woman across every state of India.
  • To revolutionise the health sector never experienced in India before.
  • To educate women (60 lakh women and girls between the age of 13-65) on various health issues, especially, pregnancy, birth, breast feeding, child care, nutrition and its importance on the overall welfare of the society.

Need for the HealthPhone programme

  • India is considered one of the most malnourished nations of the world where most of the people are ignorant about health.
  • More than six crores of children in the country are underweight. It is a very serious issue considering that the number is double than that of Sub-Saharan Africa. In fact, in the age group of 0 to 5 years, India ranks 15th amongst leading countries with serious malnutrition.
  • More than one-fourth of Indian women are underweight.
  • More than half of Indian women suffer from iron deficiency.
  • Malnutrition is one major cause of 50% of all child deaths in India.
  • It is high time that young mothers and children were educated and informed about nutritional facts, emphasising the importance of a balanced diet. Sensing the need for filling this gap, the government of India has launched the IAP HealthPhone programme.

Planning Process

The IAP HealthPhone programme will use mobile and Internet devices to accomplish its objectives. It aims to cover more than 60 lakhs women by 2018. The main emphasis will be on those women who are pregnant or planning to conceive in the next 3 years. A website titled Poshan (nutrition) has been designed for the same. It is an impactful website having four effective videos about different aspects of nutrition and health. These videos are available in 18 Indian languages.

The four videos highlight the following:

  • What is the status of Indian women?
  • How to take care of pregnant women and children under two years?
  • What is the importance of breastfeeding, balanced diet and nutrition?
  • What simple and easy changes could be incorporated in daily habits that can have long-term impact?

Why Digital?

Going by the importance of mobile phones and Internet, this is the first programme that will be totally digitalised. Using a unique public-private partnership supported by Vodafone, the major part of the campaign would be to share these videos to a large women population.

In order to make this programme a great success, Vodafone will provide free data access for these videos on mobile. Moreover, Vodafone will provide Rs. 10 to every user who has watched all the four videos. Vodafone is also going to send more than 300 million SMSes to women across the country. IAP program, along with UNICEF, will also provide a HealthPhone MicroSD card in future, filled with similar educational videos. These will be distributed to all NGOs, government departments and women mobile users in rural areas.

Focal points

  • Create AWARENESS about the causes and consequences of malnutrition.
  • Encourage each and every one to take a PLEDGE to fight malnutrition.
  • Follow SIMPLE THINGS in our daily lives to prevent malnutrition.
  • Monitor the NUTRITION & GROWTH of the child and HEALTH of the mother.
  • Focus on women between 13 and 35 years of age.
  • Create awareness in 18 INDIAN LANGUAGES.