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

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country 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.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
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 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.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


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