Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan on Wednesday launched a mobile app called m-mama that helps rural pregnant women to access transport assistance during pregnancy-related emergencies.
Through m-mama, the mobile technology is used to connect pregnant women to care when they need it the most, and working to reduce rates of maternal mortality, identified as the number one health challenge by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
“M-mama is definitely will save the lives of rural maternal mothers and newborn children,” said President Hassan when she launched the mobile app in the capital Dodoma.
She said the m-mama mobile app has saved the lives of 12,000 pregnant women and their babies since its pilot project started in Shinyanga region in 2013.
She said the program being jointly undertaken by the Ministries of Health, and Information, Communication Technology in collaboration with Vodacom Tanzania will be implemented in 14 regions where about one million women will benefit.
Under the initiative, a pregnant woman who needs assistance, calls a toll-free number to connect to a trained dispatcher who remotely locates her using the m-mama app.
After a quick assessment, the dispatcher arranges free emergency transport, an ambulance, if one is available, or a local registered driver to take the patient to a hospital.
Tanzania’s maternal mortality rate for 2017 was 524 deaths per every 100,000 expecting mothers, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.