Vodafone is using mobile technology to educate more than six million Indian women on better health and nutrition practices in the world’s largest digital mass education programme for addressing malnutrition in women and children. 

In India, around half of under-fives are chronically undernourished, representing almost a third of the world’s malnourished children. Very few Indian women eat micronutrient rich foods daily, while only 21% of children under two are fed appropriately according to all three recommended dietary practices for infant and young children.

Malnutrition leads to hindered physical and mental development and can even cause death. The irreversible consequences for workers who are undernourished as children are estimated to cost India over 3% of its GDP.

To address this challenge, a three-year programme called IAP HealthPhone has been developed with the aim of improving the health of 60 million children in India born by 2025 by spreading health messages across local communities.

IAP HealthPhone

Those who grew up in India and were undernourished as children are estimated to cost the country over 3% of its GDP.
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IAP HealthPhone has been developed with the aim of improving the health of 60 million children in India born by 2025 by spreading health messages across local communities.

The IAP HealthPhone project is an initiative of HealthPhone and conducted under the aegis of Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP).  It is delivered through a public-private partnership with the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India, UNICEF and supported by Vodafone India.

With the target audience mostly living in rural areas and having limited levels of literacy, a series of four educational videos were made that cover care of pregnant women and children under two, breastfeeding and the importance of a balanced diet, health and enhancing nutrition levels.

Raising awareness

These videos are compressed to stream easily over 2G and 3G and are being hosted on a special designed WAP page on local servers to improve playback times.

Each video has been translated into 12 Indian languages and customised to play automatically on popular handsets and phone screen sizes.

There will be no data charges for streaming or downloading the videos.  As a further incentive, customers who view all four videos will have talk time worth Rs.10 credited to their accounts.

To raise awareness of the videos, Vodafone India intends to send nearly a billion text messages over the next three years to its customer base, backed by a comprehensive campaign about the programme in newspapers and social media.

At Vodafone, we understand the significant role mobile technology can play in addressing social issues and are delighted to be involved in this breakthrough project which we hope will be transformative for Indi'’s fight against malnutrition.