Evaluating the Impact of Mobile Phone Based ‘Health Help Line’ Service in Rural Bangladesh

Posted by VivianOnano on Jul 11, 2011
Evaluating the Impact of Mobile Phone Based ‘Health Help Line’ Service in Rural Bangladesh data sheet 1723 Views
Dr Md. Ashraf, Mahfuz, Noushin Laila Ansari, Bushra Tahseen Malik, Barnaly Rashid.
Publication Date: 
Sep 2010
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

Access to basic health  service is limited in rural areas of Bangladesh, where 80% of the total population lives. For instance, 35% of doctors and 30% of nurses are located in four metropolitan districts where only 14.5% of the population lives. Most of the rural people are physically remote from the qualified health care providers. Two major mobile phone service providers in Bangladesh have initiated mobile health care help line service s nationwide as a remedy in this case. Since there is much hope of mobile phones to be used for basic health care services for populations living in rural areas, this research aims to evaluate how far such interventions reached  for the improvement of health care in those communities. Through an interpretive case-based research strategy, our field studies uncover enthusiasm from the rural people towards availing health help line services and the intervention's contribution to improved health-seeking behavior.


IFFCO: Cell Phone Messages with Farmer Advice

Posted by CorinneRamey on Nov 06, 2009
IFFCO: Cell Phone Messages with Farmer Advice data sheet 7600 Views

Chandra Shekar, a farmer who grows crops such as tomatoes and carrots and raises cows and other animals, lives in a remote village in Kolar, India in the state of Karnataka. For the past year, he's received daily voice messages with advice which have helped him to keep his sheep healthy, control diseases that threaten his crops and know what medicines to feed his animals. He has also had access to a helpline that allows him to ask questions to experts, while standing in the field of his farm, next to his animals. "Messages on animal husbandry are serving like daily doctor to me," Shekar said. "When cow was suffering from bloating, it was effectively controlled by making cow to drink groundnut oil which was given in the message."

Basic Information
Organization involved in the project?: 
Project goals: 

The project aims to provide rural Indian farmers with access to crop and veterinary information and empower them through technology.

Brief description of the project: 

IFFCO, a fertilizer cooperative in India, provides cooperative members with voice messages that give advice on agricultural topics.  The project currently has over 1 million subscribers, who receive updates five days a week.

Target audience: 

The program targets farmers, especially those in rural areas who  access to other information.

Detailed Information
Length of Project (in months) : 
What worked well? : 

The voice messages are in local languages, so they are accessible even to illiterate farmers or those who don't speak English.

What did not work? What were the challenges?: 

IFFCO has worked to adjust the content to better fit what the farmers need.  Feedback from farmers included more messages on animal husbandry, more messages on non-chemical fertilizers, and more messages during morning and evening hours.

SOS SMS: A Text Helpline for Philippine Workers

Posted by CorinneRamey on Feb 14, 2008

A single computer, hooked up to a modem in Bobby Soriano's house in the Philippines, receives a steady of stream of text messages begging for help. There have been messages from Philippine seamen, who, after being accused of the murder of a Korean captain, were forced to confess by Omani police. There was a Philippine domestic worker in Lebanon who was forced to flee to the mountains to escape Israeli bombings, and a message from twenty Philippine sailors who were evicted from their ship by police near Denmark. In each of these cases, a single SMS message with the keyword "SOS" was sent to a hotline in the Philippines, activating a network of nonprofits and government agencies to come to the workers' rescue.