Grameen Foundation and BabyCenter Join Forces to Support Mobile Healthcare Initiatives in Developing Countries

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New Fundraising and Education Efforts Announced

November 8, 2010 - Grameen Foundation, a global nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting global poverty, and BabyCenter®, the #1 pregnancy and parenting destination worldwide, today announced a new collaboration to support innovative mobile healthcare for expectant mothers in the developing world via an unprecedented fundraising and education campaign. The two organizations have been collaborating on mobile healthcare initiatives since May 2009. 

As a Grameen Foundation knowledge partner, BabyCenter has been providing expert health information that was then tailored specifically to pregnant women in rural communities of Ghana.  This free service, called “Mobile Midwife,” is being deployed via mobile phones by Grameen Foundation, in partnership with Columbia University and Ghana Health Service.  The objective of the educational initiative is to promote healthy pregnancies by encouraging women to seek prenatal care, debunking myths about pregnancy and childbirth, and offering advice on topics such as delivery, breastfeeding, immunization and good nutrition. Women also receive tips on avoiding malaria and managing pregnancy-related costs.  Marking the collaboration, BabyCenter has added a new section to its website (http://www.babycenter.com/donate-grameen-pregnant-women-in-ghana) dedicated to raising awareness and donations for Grameen Foundation’s mobile health education initiatives, with the potential to reach more than 8 million moms in the U.S. and more than 20 million moms worldwide.

“Grameen Foundation and BabyCenter share a common goal of helping children and their families live healthy lives,” said Alex Counts, president and CEO of Grameen Foundation.  “We are pleased that BabyCenter has chosen to focus a targeted public awareness and fundraising campaign on our efforts to provide vital health information to poor women.” With more than five billion mobile phones in the world, two-thirds of which are in developing economies, there is tremendous potential for information delivered over mobile phones to catalyze poverty alleviation.

“BabyCenter is committed to bringing vital health information to mothers around the world and to empowering these women to take control over their own health,” said Tina Sharkey, Chairman and Global President of BabyCenter.  “There are large populations of women in developing nations who don’t have access to books, the Internet, or even regular visits with their healthcare professionals, but they do have basic mobile phones. Our collaboration with Grameen Foundation allows us to reach these underserved women; doing what we can to help raise funds and awareness for this program brings us one step closer to our shared goal of improving maternal health worldwide.”

The following quotes came from women who have experienced “Mobile Midwife:”

“With Mobile Midwife I receive useful information concerning my nutrition and reminders to visit the clinic for antenatal care and to take my drugs regularly.”

“Initially I was worried about my health and my pregnancy. Now Mobile Midwife has made it easy for me to access much needed health information.”

“I listen to the Mobile Midwife messages occasionally with my husband and in-laws. The messages have encouraged them to be supportive with household chores especially with the more demanding tasks.”

Grameen Foundation’s other products and services support broader microfinance and information technology initiatives in Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Middle East/North Africa.

About Grameen Foundation
Grameen Foundation, a global nonprofit organization, helps the world’s poorest people lift themselves out of poverty by providing financing, technology support, and management strategies to the local organizations that serve them. It also spearheads technology initiatives that create new microbusiness opportunities for the poor and improve the poor’s access to health and agriculture information and other services. Founded in 1997, Grameen Foundation has offices in Washington, DC; Seattle; Hong Kong; Colombia; Ghana; the Philippines; and Uganda. Microfinance pioneer Dr. Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank and winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, is a founding member of its board of directors, and now serves as director emeritus.  For more information, please visit grameenfoundation.org.

About BabyCenter®, LLC
BabyCenter® is the voice of the 21st Century Mom® and modern motherhood.  It's the #1 pregnancy and parenting destination worldwide, reaching more than 8 million moms monthly in the U.S. and more than 20 million moms monthly in 22 markets from Australia to India to China.  In the United States, 7 in 10 babies born last year were BabyCenter babies. BabyCenter is the world’s partner in parenting, providing moms everywhere with trusted advice from hundreds of experts around the globe, friendship with other moms like them, and support that's remarkably right at every stage of their child’s development. BabyCenter also works with some of the world’s most prominent brands and institutions to provide life-stage marketing solutions and a direct line to highly engaged moms. BabyCenter is a member of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies.

© 2014 Grameen Foundation

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