ARMMAN Signs MoU With Government for Implementation of Kilkari & Mobile Academy

ARMMAN has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India to manage Kilkari and Mobile Academy from 2019 to 2021. ARMMAN’s demonstrated success with mMitra made it the natural choice to manage these two national programmes for 3 years and we are honoured to be granted this opportunity by the government. 

Kilkari is a mobile health education service that provides pregnant women, new mothers, and their families with timely, accessible, accurate and relevant information about Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal and Child health and is available in 5 languages in 13 states (similar to mMitra). Mobile Academy is an IVR-based Reproductive Maternal Neonatal and Child health training course designed to refresh ASHA workers’ knowledge and improve the quality of their engagement with new and expecting mothers and their families. The course is available in 5 languages, and so far 227,624 ASHAs have been enrolled in the programme, with 145,116 ASHAs graduating successfully. The two programmes have impacted the lives of over 7 million women in 13 states and it is envisaged that in the next few years, it will extend to all the states of the country. 

With this partnership, ARMMAN has expanded its geographical reach to 15 states across India. We are also currently in the preparatory phase to launch mMitra services in Jammu & Kashmir. ARMMAN takes over the responsibility of Kilkari and Mobile Academy from Gates Foundation and BBC Media Action. We are committed to doing our best to ensure the success of these programmes and to create an impact in the lives of mothers and children of India.

mMitra in Ankleshwar

Another feather in our cap! mMitra services kickstarted in Ankleshwar, Gujarat in association with Society for Education Welfare and Action Rural. We have already registered 1749 women for the voice call services on pregnancy and childcare. With support from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), we hope to reach out to 4,000 women across the city within a year.

mMitra in Varanasi

ARMMAN makes a new stride by launching mMitra for the underprivileged pregnant women, mothers and children in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, in partnership with Society for Participatory Integrated Development. We feel elated for already having touched lives of more than 1,000 women and children through our free voice call service.  

Through the year-long intervention, we aim to register 9,000 women across the city.

An anthropometric survey on 299 children in Nandurbar district of MaharashtraARMMAN has successfully conducted an anthropometric survey on 299 children from Dhadgaon and Taloda blocks in Nandurbar district of Maharashtra. In the region, ARMMAN has been training ANMs to track mothers and children with high risk factors with the help of mKhushali app—a comprehensive mobile-based tool with SMS alert system and refer them in time for treatment.

As a part of the process, the field counsellors were trained on the several anthropometric measurements to gather accurate data. The survey was completed with the involvement of the ANMs, AWWs, Asha workers and the other key people from the blocks.

Below is a summary of the survey:

Sr No

Name of the 
Name of the 
Villages coveredChildren surveyed

7DhadgaonDhanaje (Mungabari)22

ARMMAN wins ‘Tech for Health’ Grant by DGC

ARMMAN becomes the first organisation to be recognised under the ‘Tech for Health’ category by the Dasra Giving Circle (DGC). We have been acknowledged for our work in maternal and child healthcare space using scalable technological interventions. Through the recognition, ARMMAN is set to receive a grant, which we wish to use to take our programme mMitra to newer heights.

DGC is the coming of 10 philanthropists who collaborate in a meaningful way to create large-scale impact in the society. This year, the consortium evaluated over 400 organisations from across India for using technology for creating impact.

We at ARMMAN thank all the DGC members as their commitment and contribution will fuel our passion towards improving the health and well-being of the underprivileged pregnant women, mothers and children.

NGO of the year by Glenmark Foundation

We feel honoured to be recognised as the NGO of the year by Glenmark Foundation for our ‘outstanding work in improving maternal and child health’ in the country.

ARMMAN was felicitated at the RISE Summit, a round table organised by Glenmark Foundation on malnutrition. The summit included an interactive workshop, where the participants exchanged ideas and leveraged partnerships to address the issue of malnutrition.

Our founder Dr  Aparna Hegde has been awarded the WomenChangeMakers (WCM) Fellowship for the year 2017

We are thrilled to share that our founder Dr Aparna Hegde has been awarded the WomenChangeMakers (WCM) Fellowship for the year 2017 by Geneva-based The Womanity Foundation. She was recognized as the leading social entrepreneur of the year addressing women’s access to healthcare in India.

The WCM Fellowship recognizes two social entrepreneurs each in India and Brazil every year after a rigorous process that saw more than 100 social entrepreneurs being nominated for the fellowship this year. As a part of the fellowship programme, Dr Hegde and ARMMAN will receive support from WCM in strengthening its organizational effectiveness to sustain scalability for the next three years.

Breastfeeding Awareness Campaign 2017

Taking inspiration from this year’s World Breastfeeding Week theme, our hospital supervisors—in collaboration with doctors and community health workers—ran a week-long awareness campaign at 21 hospitals and 3 PHCs across Maharashtra, Delhi & NCR and Madhya Pradesh. Through the initiative, 2,266 pregnant women, lactating mothers and their families were educated about the benefits of breastfeeding and the techniques that should be applied while doing so.

Our in-house built training manuals played a vital role in cascading the information to the women and their families. Leaflets with vital information on complementary feeding, exclusive breastfeeding, and mother’s dietary requirements, while she is breastfeeding, among others, were distributed among the beneficiaries.

In Mumbai, the campaign kickstarted at SVD Savarkar Hospital, Mulund, with an interactive session organised at its antenatal care OPD. KEM Hospital, Parel; Mata Ramabai Ambedkar Maternity Home, Chembur; Brahma Kumaris’ Global Hospital & Research Centre, Andheri, were among the 12 hospitals which enthusiastically supported our initiative in Mumbai. Also, around 25 medical students from Sion Hospital, Nair Hospital, Ruxmani Hospital and Hinduja Hospital collaborated with us to strengthen our efforts.

Besides, medical officers, ANMs, ASHA workers and the anganwadi workers from Vasind PHC, Thane, were sensitised on the topic and were trained to conduct the awareness sessions among the participating women and their families.

In Delhi & NCR region, the special focus of the campaign was on the importance of exclusive breastfeeding and the benefits of colostrum, the hygiene practices that should be followed during lactation, nutrition for infants among other such vital topics. Safdarjung Hospital and Swami Dayanand Hospital were among the nine hospitals in Delhi where our team ran the awareness drive successfully.

In Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal School of Social Sciences, Nav Samriddhi Community Welfare Society and Institute for Social Research and Development partnered with us for the initiative.

ARMMAN becomes the first Indian non-profit organisation to bag the Healthcare Innovation Award for its mMitra programme.

The mobile service was celebrated today at a roundtable discussion with stakeholders, policymakers and Save the Children’s Artist Ambassador, actor Dia Mirza at an event in Mumbai.

ARMMAN is one of the four organisations in the world to have won a share of the fourth annual award from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Save the Children India’s partnership. Selected from 171 submissions from 30 countries, a judging panel comprising health experts from across the globe awarded ARMMAN with $1,15,000 to scale-up its customised free mobile voice call service, mMitra plus $ 60,000 to enlist the help of a reputed consulting firm to help ARMMAN achieve the scale we aspire for.

ARMMAN at the SYMHEALTH conference 2017

We are very happy to share that our paper titled Impact of a Voice Call Service on Knowledge and Health Seeking Behaviour of Pregnant Women authored by Dr Lakshmi Kota, Dr Prerna Kumar, Dr Lakshmi K. Josyula, and Dr Aparna Hegde, has been accepted by the SYMHEALTH 2017 conference committee. SYMHEALTH is an international conference which creates a platform for various stakeholders of the global healthcare community. 

With a theme for 2017 – International Conference on Healthcare in a Globalizing World – the conference was hosted by the Symbiosis International University from May 4 and May 6, 2017. Dr Shinde, manager, research at ARMMAN, presented a poster based on the top-line findings of the research study which compared the intervention group (the existing mMitra subscribers) with the control group (the new mMitra subscribers). 

Along with the World Health Organization (WHO) and The United Nations Children’s Fund(UNICEF), many stakeholders from across multi-disciplines such as hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, NGOs, research institutes and health ministry officials attended the session to know about the affordable, accessible and effective solutions ARMMAN offers to  the antenatal (ANC) and prenatal (PNC) healthcare challenges.

It was overwhelming to see that many of those who attended to the session were interested to know more about the content of mMitra messages, how they are delivered and the cost incurred for the same among other things. Pertaining to the study, the attendees were amazed to see how mMitra is creating an impact on the millions of mothers and children.

Here is a summary of the discussion & conclusions depicted in the poster:

The existing mMitra subscribers (ES) scored higher than the aspiring mMitra subscribers (AS) on several knowledge and practice indicators, demonstrating the effectiveness of information delivered through regular voice-messages. There is great scope for more such vital information to be provided, as shown by the low proportion of respondents, particularly AS, who were aware of numerous aspects of pregnancy, labour, and infant care. There was dissonance between knowledge and practice on certain indicators, highlighting the need for more research and concerted action on the part of the health system, civil society and the community to support healthy choices and practices at the individual level.  

Some of the recommendations:  

•       Early ANC registration and early mMitra registration should be facilitated so that women receive timely information on anaemia and iron and folic acid supplements. 

•       NGO partners can play an important role in reminding and motivating women to consume iron and folic acid tablets regularly.  

•       The dissonance between knowledge and practice in nutrition points to the need for policy and governmental support for access to better nutrition for pregnant women.

mHealth initiatives such as mMitra have the potential to improve women’s decision-making and access to healthcare resources. Efforts should be made for all women in need to benefit from such programmes. 

2017: mMitra Customised Malnutrition Programme Goes Live

It gives us immense pleasure to announce that the mMitra Customised Malnutrition Programme—in association with Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and Tata Trusts—is now live. The programme is designed to provide comprehensive information on nutrition and malnutrition to about two lakh mothers who are currently enrolled with us in Mumbai Metropolitan Region.

Through the add-on service, the women subscribed to the programme will be sensitised on various topics such as breastfeeding, complimentary feeding practices, nutritional needs of children and importance of sanitation, hygiene, immunisation and monitoring height-weight measurements. The calls will emphasise and educate on the prevention and treatment of conditions that lead to malnutrition by addressing the nutritional needs of the child based on the dietary preferences of the region.

One hundred and twenty such messages have been developed in association with BabyCenter, the content of which has been vetted by a team from the Nutritional Rehabilitation and Research Centre, Department of Paediatrics, LTMG Hospital, Sion, Mumbai.

Along with the mMitra calls on infancy care, the mother will receive an additional call:

1. Every week once the child is four months old

2. Once the child turns two, the frequency of the calls will change to monthly till the child is five years of age

In order to take the Customised Malnutrition Programme to the next level, in the pipeline is a call centre for handholding mothers of children suffering from SAM (Severe Acute Malnutrition). When children are diagnosed with severe malnutrition, they have to undergo eight weeks of an intensive treatment process and a subsequent eight months of rehabilitation process.

2 December 2016 : mMitra Launched in Karnal, Haryana

ARMMAN mMitra Launched in Karnal, Haryana
ARMMAN mMitra Launched in Karnal, Haryana

We are very happy that mMitra services have been launched in Karnal, Haryana with support from our local partner Karnal Vikas Nidhi. The launch took place in the presence of the dignitaries like the Mayor, Ms. Renubala; Hon. Secretary, Haryana State Council for Child Welfare, Ms. Santosh Atreja; Mr. Amit Verma, Johnson and Johnson; Ms. Prameela Kumar, ED ARMMAM and Swami Sampoornanand.

We hope to reach out to 25,000 pregnant women and women with infants in the district. We recently conducted training workshops and around 500 ASHA workers were trained from 15 Primary Health Centres (PHCs). Our partner organization Karnal Vikas Nidhi hosted and facilitated this 5 days’ workshop and will continue to train more AASHA workers from other PHCs in #Karnal.

30 Nov 2016 : Conference on ‘Technology for Maternal and Child Health of the Underprivileged Groups’.

Delivering the inaugural address at the conference Dr. Aparna Hegde spoke about how technology can help programs scale up in a cost effective manner. ARMMAN’s #mMitra program has reached an important milestone and has enrolled 600,000 women across 7 states, impacting more than a million lives, in a span of about two and a half years.

While technological solutions are important, it is partnerships that ARMMAN has forged with others that has helped us reach this far. She acknowledged with gratitude the important role played by ARMMAN’S partners in this achievement – Inscripts, Johnson and Johnson, BabyCenter, IMImoblie, our 43 NGO partners and 70 government hospitals.

Ms. Colleen Hancock, COO, BabyCenter and Chief Guest at the conference spoke of BabyCenter’s belief that every mother should have access to critical health information to make the best decision for herself and her baby. Where you live should not impact if you live. Baby Center has reached out to 14 million woman in underprivileged settings. She reiterated what Dr. Aparna Hegde said that partnerships are the key to success.

Ms.Daphne Metland, Editorial Director, Baby Center, spoke of how for any technological solution to be successful it has to be placed in the cultural context and has to ring a bell and find an emotional connect with it beneficiaries.

Mr. Jayant Banthia, IAS, Ex-Chief Secretary, Government of Maharashtra while delivering the lead address said that the beneficiary should be at the heart of technology.Dr. Nirmala Murthy, Founder, FRHS spoke on ‘Development and impact assessment of mHealth package for rural India and presented some interesting findings on their DRISHTI program.

Nov 2016 : mMitra has reached 600,000 enrolments impacting more than 1 million lives. We invite you to celebrate this remarkable milestone with us.

JULY 2016 : Mother and Child High Risk Factors Tracking System

In July 2016, we launched mKhushali app (a intuitive digital jobaid) for Auxillary Nurse Midwives as part of the ‘MCTS (Mother and Child High Risk factor tracking system) with SMS high risk alerts’ project in Nandurbar, MH supported by Tata Trusts. Last few weeks were consumed with refresher trainings and data collection. One of the ANMs, Jermi Sanjay Valvi, who is also a lactating mother, came with her mother-in-law and 4-month-old baby to attend the training. We have enrolled her in our mMitra program :). What better way to get the government health workers support a program than enrolling them in it themselves!

Mother and Child High Risk Factor Tracking System with SMS- based high risk alerts’ project aims to track every mother and child with a high risk factor so that they are picked up in time and referred to a higher centre before it is too late and ensures closure in the loop of care. The mkhushali app is an intuitive digital tablet based jobaid that takes the ANM through the signs and symptoms to be noted and diagnostics to be done and gives alerts on the high risk factors present and referral required. The data is transmitted through the back end to the doctors in the primary health centre and higher level facilities with high risk alerts. SMS- alerts are sent to the family and the village health workers whenever a woman or child is referred or when they delay accessing care despite referral so that they dont fall through the gaps in the health care system and there is a closure in the loop of care.

Closing fast to Go Live.

mMitra Launch 2014

ARMMAN,in  collaboration  with  MAMA  launched  the  mMitra  service  for  the  women  of  India  on  13th  November  2104.  mMitra  is  a  unique  program  that  sends  out  ”automated,  customized,  timed  and  targeted  voice  calls”  to  preganant  women  and  mothers  of  infants.  The  twice  weekly  calls  correspond  to  the  subscribers”  stage  of  pregnancy  or  the  age  of  their  children  and  are  sent  directly  to  their  mobile  phones. 
The  event  was  attended  by  representatives  from  MAMA,  Johnson  &  Johnson,  BabyCenter  and  ARMMAN’s  NGO  and  hospital  partners.  The  occasion  was  graced  with  the  presence  of  Shrimati  Sujata  Saunik,  Principal  Secretary  of  Public  Health.

mMitra Partners Meet 2014 

mMitra Partners meet was held on 6th September 2014 at Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General (Sion) Hospital. The event was an informal meet to bring together all the hospital and NGO partners in a single space and generate enriching discussions. The vision of the program is to make the mMitra service a household name so that every pregnant woman enrols herself to avail this service for a safe and healthy delivery.

The NGO partners with their long standing relationship with the community, hospital partners with their expertise and reach and technical partner with their medical expertise will ensure that women receive timed and targeted information that is relevant to their month of pregnancy or child’s age.

The mMitra service in association with MAMA will enable us to reach out to 57,000 women in Mumbai by March 2015 and 5 lakh women in the next three years in Mumbai.

To read more about the meet, click on Partners Meet mMitra urban Poor Program.


International Women’s Day 2014

ARMMAN’s International Women’s Day was celebrated on 8th March, 2014 in association with the all-girls band INDIVA. This event, held at IES Auditorium Bandra, celebrated the successful ongoing implementation of ARMMAN’s mMitra program at LokmanyaTilak Municipal General Hospital (Sion Hospital), in which 1500 urban poor women have been enrolled till date and are receiving the mMitra voice calls.

The event also launched ‘Sponsor a Mother campaign for mMitra. The campaign hopes to motivate individual donors to contribute Rs. 150 to sponsor the cost of enrolling one mother into the mMitra service. She will receive weekly/ twice a week voice calls from the first month of her pregnancy until her child turns one year. This is a simple way to reach out and empower a mother to make better choices for herself and her child. Access to the right information at the right time is every woman’s right; information that has the power to transform her and her child’s life.

To read more on our event visit: http://armmanblog.wordpress.com/

Give India Challenge 2013-
ARMMAN is taking part in the Challenge where we stand to win matching grants on donations recieved! Support us! Click here!Focus Group Disucussions in all three districts with Arogya Sakhis regarding Arogya Sakhi training experience and feedback from August 31st – September 3rd

Enrolment of pregnant women into the DFID funded mMitra Arogya Sakhi Home-based Care project in all three districts – Osmanabad, Solapur and Washim will start in September 2013

June 10th – August 10th, 2013:
Training of Arogya Sakhis in antenatal and paediatric modules in three districts – Osmanabad, Solapur and Washim

January 2013:
DFID Arogya Sakhi-mMitra trial started!

HERO to go on a city-wide campaign this December, 2011!
Given the recent blasts in Mumbai, ARMMAN’s project HERO has gained renewed meaning with Mumbaikars writing to us from all across the city about how essential project HERO is for the safety of the citizens both during personal medical emergencies and mass disasters. They uniformly expressed the need for the HERO system to be implemented in Mumbai ASAP!

India ranks first among the countries that account for 2/3rds of the maternal and under 5 mortality in the world.
Learn more…