MAMA Initiative Using Mobile Technologies To Help Mothers, Newborns In South Africa

PBS Newshour’s “The Rundown” blog examines “the Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action, affectionately known as MAMA — a global movement that uses mobile technologies to improve the health and lives of mothers in developing nations.” According to the blog, “MAMA provides pregnant women and new mothers with vital information and support using their mobile phones, through five different channels, including an interactive website, text messages, social networking and voicemails,” and “[w]omen are charged one rand (about 10 cents) to sign up for the MAMA services” (Cheers, 5/10). According to a press release from the United Nations Foundation, one of the program’s sponsors, MAMA “kicked off its two-year anniversary early with the national launch of MAMA South Africa [on Thursday], its second mobile health program.” The press release notes, “MAMA is a global partnership, launched on Mother’s Day 2011 by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, which provides free, adaptable mobile messages to 140 organizations in 50 countries” (5/9).