Tanzania: Airtel Health Mobile Service Hailed

AIRTEL Tanzania's health information SMS service has been recognised by the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA) with huge impact in educating customers facing challenges of accessing reliable health information.

Airtel Tanzania Communications Director, Beatrice Singano said in Dar es Salaam yesterday that 'Wazazi Nipendeni' SMS service has been supporting government efforts to improve maternal health care.

"The SMS content disseminated by Airtel focuses on nutrition, family planning, danger signs and many other key topics that aim to keep women informed and healthy at all stages of their pregnancy," she said.

A recent GSMA case study shows that the vital health information of the Airtel-supported Wazazi Nipendeni (Healthy Pregnancy, Healthy Baby) SMS Service reaches those who need the information the most.

She added, "Airtel is very proud that the study from the global mobile association, GSMA, shows the service impact in educating customers who do not always have the means to access healthcare and health information," She said women in different parts of the country, especially those who are pregnant and with low incomes, face challenges to access reliable health information.

It is important that Women receive this key information regarding a healthy pregnancy and early childcare as early as possible in their pregnancies. "The Wazazi Nipendeni SMS Service has become a critical communications tool in recent years as almost every Tanzanian now has access to a mobile phone," she said.

She said almost half million Airtel subscribers received free health information weekly via text messages since 2012. At least 45 per cent of those using the service live below the basic needs poverty line. End users receive carefully timed weekly information, which include reminders for visits to the Antenatal care clinics for checkups and medication.

Once their baby is born the mothers continue to receive important information and reminders until the child reaches its fifth birthday.

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