Marie Stopes International Australia

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Healthcare advice: a phone call away

two men standing and shaking hands in front of a banner

Two thirds of the Myanmar population live in remote areas where access to trained health workers and accurate medical information can be extremely hard to come by.

To help address this, Marie Stopes International (MSI) Myanmar and mobile operator Telenor have signed an agreement to launch mobile health services (mHealth) giving expectant and new mothers vital advice on birth spacing, child and reproductive healthcare.

The advice will be available via text and voice activated SMS, interactive voice response, as well as through call centres where healthcare professionals can provide real-time advice.

The two organisations also plan to expand the program so patients living in rural areas can consult with doctors in the major cities using 3G-enabled mobile telemedicine services.

Dr Sid Naing MSI Myanmar’s Country Director said: “With 70 percent of the population living in rural areas where there is need for skilled healthcare personnel on the ground, finding innovative solutions to increase coverage of key maternal and child information and services is critically important. We are very pleased to join forces with Telenor in order to use connectivity to further this outreach. Our joint initiative will take steps towards helping the country meet the Millennium Development Goals to reduce child mortality and improve maternal and reproductive health by 2015.”

Telenor Myanmar CEO, Petter Furberg, added: “Marie Stopes International Myanmar has pioneered innovative methods of reaching people in remote and challenging locations, so the combination of their extensive healthcare experience and our network rollout for affordable mobile communication, means we can help provide key health advice to most parts of Myanmar.”

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