Baxter partners with organizations in India for mHealth initiative

April 19, 2016
by Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter
Baxter International and the Baxter International Foundation, the company’s philanthropic branch, partnered with World Vision India and Bangalore’s Health Department to launch a mobile health application called Sisu Janani Seva in India for women and children.

In India, about 46 percent of all children under three years old are too short for their age, 47 percent are underweight and at least 16 percent suffer from wasting.

"Poor nutrition and access to health care services, plus little or no proper care for pregnant women contribute to these dire numbers," Anish Bafna, region head for Emerging Asia at Baxter, told HCB News. "Sisu Janani Seva will help improve maternal and child health by increasing access to essential health services, improving use of household preventive health measures, and helping women recognize when to seek medical care."

The application will enable community health care workers to monitor the health status of women during and after pregnancy and the immunization of children who are two-years-old and younger. With the video and audio functionality, the workers can deliver health care information and counseling to the women on a frequent basis.

Twelve staff members of the Junior Health Assistant Female and 24 accredited social health activist workers were trained to use the application in the first phase of its launch. It’s anticipated to directly impact 3,000 pregnant women and 2,800 children across 17 impoverished regions.

"Sisu Janani Seva will assist community health workers in educating and empowering underprivileged women, and their families, to seek pre- and postnatal services," said Bafna.

The mobile phones are programmed with audio clips and pictures that help explain basic health care practices vital to the health of pregnant women, infants and young children. Data is also put into the phones to track whether the women are implementing household preventative measures and accessing health care services that will improve their health and their children's.

"This data will help community health workers assess the effectiveness of their interventions, monitor trends, and set priorities for what messages need to be continually emphasized to improve maternal and child health outcomes," said Bafna.