mMitra is a free mobile voice call service by ARMMAN that sends timed and targeted preventive care information weekly/bi-weekly directly to the phones of the enrolled women through pregnancy and infancy in their chosen language and timeslot.
Lack of access to preventive care information is a significant problem underlying the woeful maternal morbidity and mortality numbers. The high mobile penetration in India positions voice calls as an excellent mechanism for reaching women and families with this critical life-saving healthcare information in a timed and targeted manner using the principles of behaviour change communication.
Free automated voice calls on critical information on maternal and infancy care, starting from pregnancy till the child is a year-old. Women are enrolled in the mMitra program through two verticals:
- Hospital Vertical – Health workers are posted in the antenatal / postnatal clinics of municipal/government/private hospitals and register women during their first check-up visit.
- Community Vertical – Enrollment in the slum is done through partner NGOs working in slum communities.
Sakhis (community health workers) have been trained who enroll women directly in the early stages of pregnancy for a small incentive.
- ARMMAN and BabyCenter has developed the messages that have been validated by The Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecological Society of India (FOGSI) and National Neonatology Forum (NNF).
- Frequency: 141 individualised voice messages of 60-120 seconds are sent with the following frequency:
- Pregnancy: Bi-weekly
- First week after birth: Daily
- Until Infancy month 3: Bi-weekly
- Infancy month 4 to Infancy month 12: Weekly
- Timed & Targeted: The information in the calls is timed to the stage of the pregnancy or age of the infant and is delivered directly to the women.
- Chosen Timeslot: The calls are sent in the timeslot chosen by the women.
- Preferred Language: Women can receive the calls in Hindi, Marathi, Kannada and Gujarati.
- Repeat Calls: There are three tries for every voice message.
- Missed Call System: If a woman misses all three calls, she can give a missed call to receive a call back.
- Call-center: A trained counselor can be informed in case of a delivery, abortion or to change the phone number or timeslot.
The midline survey results of the pre-post intervention study in Sion hospital and the end line results of the randomized cluster trial conducted in Osmanabad, Solapur and Washim districts of rural Maharashtra (supported by UKAID) have shown a significant impact. Some impact data (p < 0.05) is included below:
- 25% increase in the number of pregnant women who took IFA tablets for 90 or more days
- 47.7% increase in proportion of women who knew at least three methods of family planning
- 26.3% increase in proportion of infants under six months who were exclusively breastfed
- 17.4% increase in proportion of infants who tripled their birth weight at the end of one year
External evaluation (randomized controlled trial) conducted by Foundation for Research in Health Systems (FRHS) in Mumbai has also been published.
mMitra becomes a sandbox to test the following innovations that can be scaled through Kilkari:
- Integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) for program improvement, creation of targeted programs and prediction of high-risk conditions and beneficiary behaviour in partnership with Google Research India
- Testing two-way communication and stratified multimedia content focused on high risk conditions via WhatsApp/ thin app and call centre
- mMitra won the GSK-Save the Children Health Innovation Award 2017. mMitra was one of the four awardees in the world and the first Indian NGO to receive this award out of 170 applicants from 40 countries.
- mMitra won the Silver award for the “Best Use of Mobile for Social & Economic Development” at the Indian Digital Awards 2017 by IAMAI forum.
- mMitra was a finalist at Vodafone Foundation’s ‘Mobile for Good Awards 2015’.
- mMitra won the “People’s Choice Award” at “Saving Lives At Birth” event in 2011 organised by USAID, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, World Bank, Government of Norway and Grand Challenges, Canada.