News / Africa

Used Mobile Phone Campaign Improves Maternal Health

Mariama Diallo

The daughter of former U.S. President Bill Clinton and a former model helped to kick off a campaign in Washington Tuesday to collect 20,000 used mobile phones.  The aim is to improve maternal and child health in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nepal. 


They came out in big numbers to drop off their used mobile telephones to help improve conditions for pregnant women half a world away.  For former first daughter Chelsea Clinton, the idea echoes the motto of her father's foundation - the Clinton Global Initiative.

“Everyone who wants to make a difference can and should," Clinton said. "The burden in how to turn good intentions into real action shouldn’t be an insurmountable challenge.”

And easy it was - basically, register a donation and drop a phone into a bucket.

Tracy Cunningham says she gets a new phone every two years. “They were just sitting in a box, so I wanted to do something good with them,” she said.

Celeste Bagley says the donations are for a good cause. “It’s a way to build telecommunications capabilities in developing countries," she noted, "and I think it’s a great thing to do.”

Proceeds from the mobile phone collection drive will be used to fund mobile health technology in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nepal.

These mothers at the Kikula Health Center in the DRC are celebrating new life in a country that has one of the worst child mortality rates in the world.  

Former model Christy Turlington Burns is the founder of Every Mother Counts, an advocacy and mobilization group that supports maternal and child health.  She says this was a great opportunity for her to participate.

“We found that in all the different things we threw out there, people could rally around cell phone drives.  It’s something that everyone could do," Burns said. "People got and understood the value of being linked to a facility in an emergency situation.”

Tierney O’Dea is the campaign manager for Hope Phones, one of the sponsors of the phone collection drive.  She explains her group's connection to a recycling partner. “If you send them an iPhone, they’ll pay us a $100 for that iPhone and they’ll resell it.  Even with old phones, we get $2 or $3 for it; they recycled those responsibly. We use those funds to buy new appropriate phones for the field that has our software on them and make them into medical communications devices,” she explained.

For Kathy Calvin from the United Nations Foundation, the message is simple. "If you can help save a woman and give her a chance to have a healthy baby by simply donating a phone, that's a powerful opportunity for you to engage and connect with someone else," she said.

You May Like

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid