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Secretary Of State Clinton Launches Collaborative Mobile Application To Advance Maternal Health

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Tuesday launched the Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA), a “mobile application development partnership aimed at delivering free health care information and tips to pregnant women and mothers around the world via cell phone,” Federal Computer Week reports (Lipowicz, 5/3).

“Over the next three years, the partnership, which is expected to mobilize $10 million, will work across an initial set of three countries, Bangladesh, India and South Africa, to help coordinate and increase the impact of existing mobile health programs, provide resources and technical assistance to promising new business models, and build the evidence base on the effective application of mobile technology to improve maternal health,” according to a USAID press release.

USAID and Johnson & Johnson have contributed resources to the partnership. It is also receiving support from the U.N. Foundation, mHealth Alliance and BabyCenter LLC. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the State Department helped with the development of MAMA (5/3).

In prepared remarks at the launch, Clinton said: “We will harness the power of mobile technology to deliver vital health information to mothers across the globe. Women in developing countries, some of the women most at risk for pregnancy-related problems, will be able to use their cell phones to get health information via text messages or voicemails, and the information can even be customized for the stage of pregnancy or the age of their children,” FCW reports (5/3).

USAID Deputy Administrator Don Steinberg, U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra, Johnson & Johnson Chairman and CEO William Weldon and Every Mother Counts founder Christy Turlington Burns also spoke at the launch, Devex’s “Obama’s Foreign Aid Reform” blog reports (Villarino, 5/3).