Ooredoo, one of the telecoms licence winners in Myanmar, last week extended its mWomen programme, which aim to use mobile technology to empower women, in the Southeast Asian nation.
The service will provide access to maternal healthcare information via mobile devices free-of-charge, Ooredoo Myanmar said.
The telecom company said it received an Innovation Fund grant from the GSMA Foundation, to support the launch of a multi-tier maternal health service in partnership with a range of local and international partners.
Myanmar currently faces a number issues related to maternal health, including a high infant mortality rate and challenging levels of baby malnutrition, and more than 70 percent of births occur outside a professional medical service.
Ooredoo said this “first-of-its-kind service” will offer “medically-proven content to women, as well as direct channels for users to contact medical professionals about specific health issues and seek treatment as required.”
Dr Nasser Marafih, Group CEO, Ooredoo, said: “We believe every woman should have an equal opportunity to use a mobile phone. We work with content experts, NGOs and leading developers to ensure that the information is accessible, relevant and tailored for women’s needs.
“We are now able to develop a cutting-edge service that tackles a vital social issue in Myanmar.”
The announcement was made at the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. The programme – which has seen success in Iraq, Indonesia, Qatar and Algeria – has received international attention in recent years.
In September 2013, at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting in New York, Ooredoo and the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women announced a tie-up to work on women’s entrepreneurship in Myanmar.
The two organisations are developing a franchisee model to enable 30,000 women by 2016 in Myanmar to become entrepreneurs by selling prepaid Ooredoo airtime to their communities.