Project Name: Mobile Kunji
Organisation: BBC Media Action
Project Location & Coverage Area: Bihar
Project URL: www.rethink1000days.org/programme-outputs/mobile-kunji/
Area of intervention: Health
The problem of high rate of maternal and infant mortality rate is a pressing issue in India, and Bihar ranks the lowest on these indicators. Bihar has a huge population of 104 million people, including 25 million women of childbearing age. There are about two lakhs grassroots community health workers in the state; each responsible for a catchment area of 1,000 people. The reasons behind high incidences of infant and maternal mortality rates in India are the lack of awareness among women about the importance of antenatal care (ANC) and postnatal care (PNC), inadequate infrastructural as well as medical facilities and assistance during delivery, incomplete immunisation, most of these because of shortage or under-utilization of the health workforce.
Mobile Kunji is like an aid on maternal and child health designed to be used by Community Health Workers during their counselling sessions with women and their families. Mobile Kunji comprises of an Interactive Voice Response (IVR)-based mobile service and a printed deck of cards on a ring. A unique short-code at the bottom of each card plays the related audio health message to rural families.
The recorded voices of Dr Anita or her assistant Nishant Kumar provide further information during the call. The health worker can convey that information to the family and the family members can also listen to it themselves. This service can be used on any mobile handset, and is available on common tariff across all the six participating operators. The solution serves as a mean to disseminate information, guide the women and families, and may be used as a ready reckoner by the health worker as well.
Reach & Road Ahead
As per the claims by BBC’s international NGO arm, BBC Media Action, over 1.30 lakh users were registered and they accessed about 4.28 million minutes of content on Mobile Kunji. It has apparently helped the health workforce on the ground to convey the message in a more convincing manner to the families. The health workers can easily convey the message now to a large number of families. Early analysis by the BBC Media Action concludes that exposure to Mobile Kunji adds substantial value in predicting behaviour and is strongly correlated with delivery preparation and complimentary feeding; and serves as a good complement to other job aids and tools used by frontline workers. The call costs are expected to be covered by the government of Bihar. Additional revenue streams including advertising will make services commercially viable in the longer term.