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9 months of knowing

When childbirth and the 9 months of pregnancy becomes a "women" only activity its also more vulnerable and may not get the necessary political and community support it needs. This simple information sharing idea will make the dads more updated, involved and prepared. Its important to include the dads and make them feel like they are part of the pregnancy on fair terms, that they have access to information.

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Written by DeletedUser

This is a simple information sharing concept. By involving and enabling the dads to know more about the progress and health of their wives this will hopefully generate more pride and involvement within the men of the community. And therefore, in male driven societies, the aim is to get the dads to prioritize and lobby for a safer pregnancy for their women. Its important to include the dads and make them feel like they are part of the pregnancy on fair terms, that they have access to information.

Its simple. When the woman gets a health check up, a simple application allows the health-worker to input some data, weight, size of baby, expected due date, health recommendations or restrictions, blood preassure etc. That info is sent to the dads mobile phone where he gets a "Pregnancy status update" (a bit like following the pregnancy on a very slow twitter). The update should be cognitive and easy to read/understand with simple images/text. If the woman is being restricted from hard work etc by the medical staff then the man can directly get that info from them and the woman will not be responsible for delivering such messages, that may lead to trouble if she cant fulfill her household duties.

Both woman and man gets 9 months period of knowing and preparing. And a full summary of the whole pregnancy is easily available in both their mobile phones.

What is the minimum level of mobile technology needed for this concept?

Simple application

How could this work in a low-literacy context?

It does need to be developed with a easy to understand interface. Pictures representing the state of the woman and short text explanations.

Which partners could help realise and deliver this solution?

  • Oxfam
  • Nokia
  • Mobile operators
  • NGOs


Join the conversation:

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One more idea as I like your attention to involving both parents. In attempting to think outside the 9 month period for which you've already proposed a great idea, I wonder if games (as described below) could target young couples with innovative content aimed to increase their understanding of the significant resources required to raise a child. For example, the game could highlight the cost of health care, food, clothing, and education a child needs. In some cases, couples may give greater consideration to not having children if the practical considerations are laid out in a fun, entertaining way.

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Hi Anna,

I agree that involving men is extremely important. Your concept began made me consider how fathers may be encouraged to get involved in promoting safe and proactive maternal health practices even before pregnancy. I believe mobile interactive games could deliver powerful messages of prevention and proactive measures women and men can take to enable a healthy pregnancy, while also clarifying common misconceptions about pre- and post-natal care. Linking these games to mobile phones that are widely used in many developing countries can increase men’s awareness about women’s pre- and post-natal health in areas where many women suffer due to a lack of understanding about pregnancy and childbirth. Integrating public health facts and good practices into entertaining games that males and females can enjoy could lead to meaningful behavioral change.

Your concept made me consider a few more benefits of targeting young men using educational and entertaining interactive mobile games:

- Games can be locally tailored according to local culture and incorporate interactive messages contextually adapted for regional needs, religious and social norms and activities. For example, games based on popular sports, such as cricket or football, may attract more users.
- Since some young men’s immediate reaction to maternal health and pre- and post-natal care may be that it’s a “women’s issue”, games can incorporate broader public health themes that are interrelated and interdependent. For example, information about nutrition and agriculture, water and sanitation, employment, HIV/AIDS, malaria, climate change, etc. can be incorporated. Oxfam, with its knowledge and networks, is an excellent partner to provide the expertise to make this information meaningful and accurate.
- Delivery of maternal health awareness information in the form of interactive mobile phone games may particularly appeal to a generation of tech-savvy consumers who may be bored or unaffected by traditional public service messaging.
- Targeting young people, who may be most vulnerable to maternal death and disability, enables them to become critical agents of change who can transform policies, programming, and culture to reflect their right to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services.
- Though this concept was designed with young men in mind, its appeal and influence is expected to be much wider (ie. integrating the edges).

If we combined "9 months of knowing" with preparatory entertaining and educational interactive games Dads could be informed and involved throughout the process. Thanks for sharing your idea Anna!