Features Saturday, March 21, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | December 22, 2014 | 03:34 pm IST A single phone call can make all the difference in the life of an expectant mother. This is the aim of the mMitra project begun by an NGO Armman and Mumbai's Sion Hospital which has been targeting maternal health care in the rural sector. The project, in order to ensure that expectant and new mothers experience no gap in information for ensuring a healthier child created a practice of making phone calls to registered mothers to deliver information to them.  The project which comes at an important time, as a UN report released early 2014 revealed that even though India’s maternal mortality rate(MMR) has come down by 65 percent since 1990, it still lags behind UN’s set Millennium Development Goals, making it amongst the word in the world. Targeting the improvement in well-being of 7900 pregnant and lactating mothers according to its website, Mumbai Smiles, aims to bridge the gap in providing health care information, reported Al Jazeera. Expectant and recent mothers can choose a language between Hindi and Marathi at at a time of their choosing and even if they missed calls, more attempts can be made. Even though the project gives women weekly advice of the basic dos and donts, the calls continue on with tailored messages for new borns until they turn a year old, said the report.  Launched at Sion Hospital in Mumbai, the hospital became the perfect place for the initiation of the project as it concentrates as one of the most important hospitals for Mumbai's poor.  The idea of using voice messages under 90 seconds instead of text messages was decided upon as most of the women they were targeting to help were illiterate, said the report. Watch this video by AJ+ to know more about how this programme has improved the lives of these women.

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