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First Days: Mobilizing Health Workers to Improve Maternal and Child Health in Rural India

Equipping community health workers with multimedia (ie: videos) on mobile phones to help them engage in a persuasive discussions regarding maternal health.

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The Berkeley Institute of Design conducted two projects related to using multimedia on low cost mobile phones to foster a discussion around health issues.  The target user was community health workers, in the Indian context called Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs).  The projects were:

ASHA Assist
Putting interactive videos in the hands of ASHAs in order to provide a scaffolding for discussion between them and their clients as well as to reference relevant information.  By introducing pauses and questions in the videos, they were able to draw both the ASHA and the mother into a more in depth discussion regarding the health issues at hand.

ASHA Tube
By asking a handful of ASHAs in rural Orissa to record videos of anyone in the community discussing any topic in health, they were able to generate a huge amount of excitement around the topics from those involved.  Community members who rarely thought about health or the ASHA were drawn in by the prospect of appearing on video.  The ASHAs were excited about their task and were proud after hearing testimonials from the community.

More information about both projects here: 
http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~divya/research/firstdays/overview.html

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