This Mobile Voice Message Service Is Helping Indian Mothers, Babies Stay Healthy

mMitra, roughly translating as ‘mobile friend’, is a service launched in 2014 by the non-profit ARMMAN that provides comprehensive preventive information to 1.6 million women across nine states in India.

The content of mMitra messages is simple, such as telling an expectant mother how her baby would be growing that week of her pregnancy, informing her of the importance of iron and folic acid supplements, what foods she needs to eat and the vaccinations she must get.
The voice calls are in the local dialect, speci?c to the woman’s gestational age or the age of the infant and are sent weekly/twice a week directly to pregnant women and mothers with infants in their chosen language and timeslot.
A total of 145 individualized voice messages of 60 – 120 seconds are being sent directly to the mobile phones of each enrolled woman, based on the stage if her pregnancy or age of the infant, with the following frequency:

  • Pregnancy: Two messages per week
  • First week after birth: Once a day
  • Infancy until month 3: Two messages per week
  • Infancy month 3 to Infancy month 12: One message per week

What makes the information stick is that it reaches the mother at a time of her convenience, in her respective mother tongue and at the relevant stage in her pregnancy. Three attempts are made to reach out to each registered mother each week, but if a woman misses her calls, she can give a ‘missed call’ to get her information.

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