September 24, 2014
Written by Lucy Westcott, Newsweek
This post originally appeared on Newsweek here.
A new campaign launched Monday is hoping to reduce deaths of expectant mothers in developing countries by providing them with mobile phones loaded with health advice and emergency numbers.
The Zero Mothers Die campaign, launched at the Global Sustainable Development Foundation meeting at the United Nations on Monday, aims to improve the lives of pregnant women by giving them access to vital health care information through mobile phones they have dubbed ‘Mum’s Phone.’
About 300,000 women die every year from complications related to childbirth, roughly 800 a day, according to the campaign.
The cell phone, branded pink, will be targeted at women who live in isolated areas without ready access to health professionals. The device will come preloaded with free minutes and emergency contacts for women to call, as well as health information about pregnancy warning signs, HIV treatment and caring for an infant after birth.
Zero Mothers Die co-founders, Dr. Jordi Serrano Pons and Dr. Véronique Inès Thouvenot, think a mobile phone will be an effective tool because it uses a relatively affordable device to support communication and provide potentially life-saving information.