News / Africa

Used Mobile Phone Campaign Improves Maternal Health

TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid