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The Millennium Development Goals Tracker app for iPhone and iPad lets you visualize, trend, track and compare the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals for all nations. Do you have friends whose statements about these topics doesn’t sound right? Use the app to show them the real data. Use real information to change their mindset. Includes reports on all the goals and all 27 sub-target measures.
Since 2008, a company called Text to Change (TTC) has been setting up SMS (mobile text messaging) campaigns for partners in Africa and South America. Their goal: to combine the increasing growth of mobile telephony with the need for better healthcare, innovative education, economic development and transparency. It’s inspiring to see the many ways they have been using SMS. Could any of these apply to your ministry?
Participants in their campaigns can win prizes such as airtime, mosquito nets, mobile phones, football jerseys and radios, which results in high responses. To overcome illiteracy barriers they make use of Interactive Voice Response services (IVR) as well.
Using mobile phone text messages (SMS), we can advocate as widely as possible the importance of making sure that children are vaccinated, and also benefit many areas of public health and basic social services by providing early warning systems for outbreaks or public health emergencies, self-monitoring and for other health promotion issues.
For example, in 2009, the Zambian Ministry of Health and UNICEF joined together with two of the country’s leading mobile phone companies, MTN and ZAIN, to spread the message about vaccinations and other key interventions. The campaign focused on polio prevention in 28 districts bordering Angola, Namibia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“It is about time that we used modern technology to ensure child health and this year is particularly important because of the polio prevention campaign,” said UNICEF Zambia Representative, Lotta Sylwander. “We are grateful that MTN and ZAIN have agreed to assist free of charge in sending mobile phone messages to millions of their subscribers.”
The text messages encouraged parents to bring their children under the age of five to their nearest health centers during the Child Health Week. For example, one of the messages said: “Your child can be healthier! Take your children under age five to the nearest health centre for free vaccinations from 20-25 July.”
Join us for tonight’s text chat at http://mobile.vinfamily.org/live-chat-4192012/.
With its ability to reach much further into developing countries than any other technology, wireless is today powering the collection of health data, supporting diagnosis and treatment, and advancing education and research in even the most remote and resource-poor environments— with the potential to do far more. Read more at http://blogs.hbr.org/innovations-in-health-care/2011/03/david-aylward-the-mobile-phone.html