“The idea is simple — texting key health messages to rural midwives.”
In Indonesia — where a child under five dies every four minutes of preventable causes — midwives are often responsible for children's health in rural villages. Yet many of the country's approximately 150,000 midwives have limited education and little access to current medical information.
A new UNICEF-supported pilot program changes all of that, providing a simple, text message-based information pipeline to the midwives who care for mothers and children in isolated communities.
Through the Info Bidan program—the name means "information for midwives"—health care providers in remote villages in Pemalang and West Lombok received three text messages a week on lifesaving topics like nutrition, safe pregnancy and delivery and early child development.
The simple, effective program is a collaboration between UNICEF, the Indonesian Ministry of Health, Nokia and telecom provider PT XL Axiata. Says Dr. Robin Nandy, UNICEF Indonesia's Chief of Child Survival and Development, "We would of course like to scale this up to the entire country."
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