Mama Info service has been developed by the non-governmental organization People in Need (PIN) in Zambia to promote healthy practices among pregnant and lactating women as well as their partners. We use Interactive Voice Response and Voice Over Internet technologies to send entertaining health and nutrition voice messages.
We work with the Ministry of Health of Zambia (MoH) and Zambia Telecommunications Company Limited (ZAMTEL) to deliver this innovative and one-of-a-kind intervention in the country.
Mama Info uses voice recorded messages to overcome illiteracy barriers and to improve maternal and child health and nutrition outcomes. The messages originate from official governmental recommendations in the sector of health and nutrition and PIN simply assess their relevance and usefulness in the communities and selects the most relevant from them. Later on, a local drama group is recruited to develop the scripts based on these messages and translates them to the local language. The next stage of the development process is to record the messages including culturally appropriate characters to provide an educative, engaging and entertaining service, effective at changing people’s behaviours. These dialogues were designed typically around specific topics such as health, nutrition or hygiene. The complete set contains key messages covering the critical 1000 days related to maternal health and nutrition as well as nutrition and health of children aged 0-6 and 7-24 months.
How does it work
- Pregnant woman or mother with child until the age 24 months will self-register with her/her family’s cell phone. The call as well as the service is free of charge.
- She needs to dial on her mobile device a specific short code 7888 to initiate the registration process
- She will listen to instructions determining at what stage of pregnancy the woman is or what the baby’s age is. Based on this setting, the woman will receive a relevant package of voice messages.
- The messages will be automatically sent in regular intervals so it is comfortable for the clients to get used to it.
- Clients can unregister at any time by following the voice instructions at the end of the messages.
Q. Is the Mama Info Service available all across Zambia?
Theoretically yes. At this point, everyone on the territiory of Zambia can register, however the content is only available in Silozi language primarily spoken in Western Province of Zambia. PIN is already envisioning to scale up the intervention and include other local language, so the service can be relevant for wider audience.
Q. Is the Mama Info Service relevant only for women?
No. Even though mothers are targeted by the service primarily, the content is highly relevant also for their spouses but also other family members. Apart from the cell phones, the voice messages will be also broadcasted through local radio to target wider populations. As PIN, we want to encourage men to participate in the care for child as in our view it is joint responsibility of mother and father.
Q. How do you promote the Mama Info Service?
We are engaging health workers and nurses at local health facilities who are briefed about the Mama Info Service, its benefits and the registration process. The mother can directly ask questions or raise concerns to the health worker or contact PIN through CFRM line (Community Feedback and Response Mechanism). PIN is also distributing communication and visibility materials in the health facilities to raise awareness and promote the service.
If Mama Info attracted your attention and/or you would like to more, contact us through following channels: