GSMA to launch mobile health app

women-children-Living in KuitoSamsung will provide a range of mHealth services to women and children. (Image source: Living in Kuito)The Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA) is to launch its Mobile for Development mHealth programme for pregnant women and children in Zambia in September this year which will focus on nutrition

MHealth programme is expected to connect mobile and health industries to reach millions of pregnant women and children in sub-Saharan Africa.

GSMA is an association of mobile operators and related companies devoted to supporting the standardisation, deployment and promotion of the GSM mobile telephone system.

According to a press statement, director of health at the GSMA, Dr Craig Friderichs, said through its ‘Mobile for Development mHealth’ programme, the initiative will be launched in 10 African countries by the end of this year.

The context of the partnership is centred on the millennium development goals (MDGs) particularly those with a specific focus on maternal and unborn child health, Dr Friderichs added.

Phase One of the GSMA initiative will be rolled out before the end of the year in six priority countries, namely Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia.

Phase Two is expected to commence in 2015, and will incorporate additional partners and services, addressing other countries, including Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania.

“We believe that mobile and information and communications technologies (ICT) as a sector has a fundamental role to play in addressing health services,’’ Dr Friderichs elaborated.

With electronics firm Samsung also onboard, Thabiet Allie, head of content and services for the African regional headquarters at Samsung Electronics, said the company has identified levels of engagement with the partnership.

Samsung plans to offer better pricing for devices, and secondly pre-embed a ‘smart health app’ on all smartphones across sub-Saharan Africa. The app will be available for download from the Google Play store.

Nawa Mutumweno

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