Zero Mothers Die is an international initiative, founded as an innovative public-private partnership. Its aim is to further contact between pregnant women and maternal healthcare professionals in an effort to prevent complications in pregnancy and labour, thereby saving the lives of mothers and their newborn babies. Its approach capitalised on the widespread use of mobile phones to make pregnant women better informed, enhance their ability to manage their pregnancy, and facilitate equal access to maternal healthcare services and emergency care.
The overall aim of the project is to set up a systematic approach that helps to reduce maternal mortality by the widespread use of mobile phones by pregnant women. Targets include reducing complications arising during pregnancy, preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and improving mother and baby nutrition, from the very first ante-natal appointment, right up to the baby’s second birthday. The strategy will be delivered through two initiatives: a) Increased usage of mobile phones by at-risk or low income women, in particular those in rural communities, to give them better access to the best healthcare information and services and mend the digital gap. 30 minutes of free communication with healthcare centres and professionals will be offered every month. b) ICT training for healthcare professionals working within the communities, through the provision of tablets with pre-installed content, and mobile phones suitable for the local context.
The initiative is composed of six modules: (1) MumHealth, a mobile messaging service that regularly delivers news on mother and baby health to pregnant women by text and voice messages in their local dialect. (2) Mobile phones handed out to 100,000 women in early pregnancy every year, for the purpose of sharing healthcare information. (3) 36 million free minutes, or 30 minutes per month for every woman, so that they can log on to local healthcare services and make sure their pregnancies are monitored. (4) ICT training for healthcare professionals. (5) Personalised funding plan to cover cost of travelling to clinic for labour. (6) A solar charging system to act as a source of income for the women, as well as serving to charge their phones.
The first phase will be rolled out in Ghana, in partnership with the Ministry of Health, the Office of the First Lady, and local organisations.