Mumbai : The Mitra Voice Call Service which was initiated by ARMMAN organisation in 2014 has reached out to more than 1 lakh urban poor women in Mumbai Metropolitan Region in less than a year. The service provides crucial preventive healthcare information to pregnant women and mothers of infants who have registered for the service through seven municipalities, 23 government and BMC hospitals and 19 NGOs.
Dr Aparna Hegde, chairperson of ARMMAN, said, “A major cause of these poor urban maternal and infant health statistics is the lack of access to preventive care information. Through Mitra, we send out ‘automated, customised, timed and targeted voice calls’ providing crucial preventive care information to pregnant women and mothers of infants who have registered for this service through municipal and government hospitals and NGOs.”
The free weekly/twice a week voice calls corresponds to the subscribers’ stage of pregnancy or age of their infants and are sent directly to their mobile phones in their chosen language and timeslot, through pregnancy and infancy. There is also a call centre that the woman can access if she has delivered (to switch to infancy voice calls) or had an abortion or has changed her phone number or preferred timeslot.
Dr Suhasini Nagda, medical director of major civic hospitals, said, “The timed and targeted information from Mitra has empowered subscribers to take informed decisions for themselves and their family. In a 2011 trial on the impact of iron supplementation reminders on medication adherence in 80 anemic women at Sion hospital, the increase in hemoglobin levels was significantly more in the group that received the calls.”