mHealth Alliance partnership to focus on care for women, children

According to the World Health Organization, women and children globally face serious health threats, with newborns and children particularly vulnerable to malnutrition and infectious diseases, many of which can be effectively prevented or treated. To help combat this worldwide trend, the mHealth Alliance and humanitarian organization CARE formed a new partnership to empower women and improve maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) in developing countries through the use of mobile technologies.

"Through this partnership, we will further scale up and advance mHealth innovations to positively impact women and children's health around the world," Madhu Deshmukh, director of special initiatives for MNCH, mHealth and Gender at CARE, said in an announcement. CARE's community-based efforts include improving basic education, preventing the spread of disease, increasing access to clean water and sanitation, expanding economic opportunity and protecting natural resources.

Mobile healthcare is a big part of the United Nations' global strategy to improve the health of women and children. Two years ago, the UN Foundation and several partners committed $400 million toward making childbirth safer, vaccinating children, reducing infant mortality and combating malaria, with mHealth. The foundation also launched the Maternal and Newborn mHealth Initiative to develop and deploy mHealth technologies to address problems related to maternal health in developing countries.

CARE, under this new partnership, will provide technical input and support to further the mHealth Alliance's work on MNCH, as well as lead the development of capacity building tools and measurement methods. The mHealth Alliance will explore opportunities to strengthen CARE's operational strategies for mHealth that focus on intersecting with other sectors like health, water, livelihoods, access to financial resources, agriculture, emergencies and humanitarian assistance.

While poverty is an important barrier to positive health outcomes for both men and women, it tends to put a heavier burden on women and girls' health worldwide. CARE focuses on putting resources in the hands of poor women because the organization believes it can help whole families and entire communities escape the negative effects of poverty.

"The mHealth Alliance partnership with CARE will bring together two organizations with complimentary missions to ensure mHealth technologies are used effectively to fight poverty, improve health, and empower women and girls," Patricia Mechael, executive director of the mHealth Alliance, said in a written statement.

To learn more:
- read the announcement