Telecom major Vodafone's 'e-Mamta' initiative, a mother-child tracking programme, in association with the Government of Gujarat, has reportedly helped in reducing the infant mortality rate in the state.
The infant mortality rate in the state has reduced by 4 base points to 44 points compared to 48 points earlier, which is the highest improvement in Gujarat in more than a decade.
Recognising its contribution, 'e-Mamta' has been conferred the Golden Peacock Award for innovative product/service in telecom category.
This the second consecutive Golden Peacock Award for Vodafone, which also won the award last year for the "Resolve" programme in the Corporate Social Responsibility category.
The high infant mortality rate recorded in many Indian states has been a cause of concern for the Indian Government and community.
For the Gujarat Rural Health Mission's e-Mamta mother-child tracking system, Vodafone developed a voice-based closed user group (CUG) solution and provided 42,000 SIM cards to ASHAs (Accredited Social Health Activist), doctors and health workers.
ASHA workers are health-care professionals who work as a key bridge between the expectant mothers and the medical staff to ensure timely and pro-active pre-natal and post-natal care is provided at all stages of the delivery process.
They actively engage with the expectant mothers, collect health related data of all community members in their allocated areas and feed it into a centralised system, which is programmed to send timely updates to all ASHAs and mothers on their mobile.
Thus there is continued and regular monitoring of health status of mothers and infants.
Commenting on this achievement, Sunil Sood, Chief Operating Officer, Vodafone India said, "'e-Mamta' has made a significant difference in rural Gujarat, where distances and lack of medical facilities impede quick access to capable help for expectant and new mothers, at a time when they need it the most.
"It has been extremely satisfying for us to note the visible drop in infant mortality rate since we first executed the programme."
"The Golden Peacock Award 2013 is a testimony of Vodafone's conscious efforts to contribute towards making a positive difference to lives, through the use of technology."
Since its inception in 2010, the e-Mamta programme has reached more than 20,000 villages in 26 districts of Gujarat, covering 1,090 primary and 283 community health centres in the state.
The closed group of 42,000 ASHA workers on a daily basis consume approximately 2 lakh minutes within the group and 5 lakh total outgoing minutes.
Since its inception, e-Mamta has seen over 15 crore minutes being used within the closed user group with over 40 crore minutes of outgoing calling being recorded.