Etisalat joins world campaign to decrease child mortality in Africa

Abu Dhabi: Etisalat Group, the telecommunications corporation with operations in 16 markets across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, announced that it will be collaborating with a consortium of global mobile network operators, in conjunction with the GSMA, to support the launch of the Pan-African mHealth Initiative.

Building on the success of its Mobile Baby platform and in-line with its Social Responsibility initiatives, Etisalat Group will work with its partners on creating a healthier community through this initiative, spearheaded by the Etisalat mHealth application as part of the Maternal Health Plan B (MHplanB).

“Reducing child mortality and improving maternal health are Millennium Development Goals and are both supported by this alliance. The Etisalat Group has already initiated projects in Africa to address these issues and we are delighted to reach out and partner with our peers to achieve a material impact for the benefit of women, children and their families across the continent. The Etisalat Group is therefore proud to become an integral part of the Pan-African Mobile Health initiative and to share innovation and best practice for the betterment of humanity,” explained Ahmad Abdulkarim Julfar, Chief Executive Officer for Etisalat Group.

“In-line with Etisalat’s Mobile Baby programme, which has been successfully introduced in a number of markets across Africa, Etisalat is proud to become a vital part of the Pan-African Mobile Health initiative in conjunction with the GSMA and fellow operators. As a leader in mobile health services, our mHealth application has been effective in assisting with in-facility births and post-partum care in several African countries. The programme has allowed for cheaper maternal care and delivery services, as well as helping to save the lives of several mothers and children.” The announcement, made this week in Johannesburg, South Africa, will see Etisalat partner with several global mobile network operators to explore and support universal health coverage for mothers and children. This agreement will also leverage a health advisory group to qualify, validate and better recommend health content and services to distribute across mobile channels.

“Having a standardised mHealth initiative allows us to maximize our reach across several nations, in turn impacting the lives of more families. Etisalat’s existing mHealth programme was able to reach thousands of families in just 7 months, and we believe with the implementation of a wider programme, we will be able to positively affect even more lives,” explained Julfar.

Initially, the Pan-Africa mHealth initiative will launch as a prototype service during the third quarter of 2012, which will focus on maternal and child services across three markets: Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. A standardised suite of universal services is planned for introduction by early 2013.