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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More