Digital mass education programme to tackle malnutrition  

New Delhi, June 2 (IANS) The Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) in collaboration with the Mother and Child Health and Education Trust on Tuesday launched a digital mass education programme – dubbed the world’s largest – to tackle the challenge of malnutrition in mothers and children.

The IAP HealthPhone programme, supported by Vodafone, aims to leverage the increasing penetration of mobile phones in India to educate over six million girls and women between 13 and 35 years of age and their families on better health and nutrition practices by 2018.

Vodafone will send out approximately 300 million text messages to its subscribers for three years to promote the programme.

“Almost 33 percent of the world’s malnourished children live in India. Mass education about the seriousness of this problem, its pitfalls and easy solutions, is critical among women of child-bearing age, mothers and their immediate families,” said IAP president S.S. Kamath.

“We aim to jointly educate the caregivers, and in time change their behaviour to address this issue comprehensively,” he said.

HealthPhone founder Nand Wadhwani said the three-year campaign will help in India’s fight against malnutrition and “is expected to directly benefit the health of 100 million children born in India by 2025”.

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