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Free Midwife Hotline

A free 24/7 hotline operated by volunteer midwives and doulas

Photo of Avi Solomon
13 19

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A free 24/7 hotline can be operated by volunteer midwives and doulas. Women can call, sms, chat, skype or email: whatever is at hand to get their problem across. The volunteer midwives, doulas, nurses or doctors could respond live or reply to pending messages.

168 volunteers are needed to provide a 24/7 service every week (if each volunteer donates 1 hour/week). A shared Google calender can be used to sync between the volunteers. Midwives on Missions of Service (MOMS) is an operational non-profit service that can be consulted for guidance. Retired medical personnel could be enlisted to help out.

The Lokarpit Voice Forum, developed by Randy Wang, is already operational. Let's get him on board to make this work!

I've added mp3 files below of a real question and answer call from the Lokarpit Voice database to give a taste of what's possible.

Childline India is an amazing inspiration already operational in the field that can also be built upon for providing a maternal health hotline:

Free Midwife Hotline, a preliminary specification for a frugal implementation:

-The Free Midwife Hotline will initially be staffed by qualified volunteer midwives recruited from anywhere in the world.

-Gmail and Google Calendar would be the core tools for coordinating the volunteers.

-Skype would be used to make calls to the pregnant mothers. Remember that incoming calls are free to the recipient in India.

-The pregnant mothers can use multiple means to send their message: SMS, toll-free phone call, email, instant messaging, Skype, Facebook group and Twitter.

-Volunteers sign up on a shared Google calender, they will receive an email alert bout their appointment.

-All volunteers share a common username ("Midwife Hotline") to be used when on duty to login to Gmail and Skype.

-Volunteers reply to pending messages or deal with live calls when on duty.

-Each call or message is recorded and logged as a topic on a dedicated Google group. This is critical for followup and rebroadcasting exemplary messages.

-Pregnant mothers can call in to listen to a navigable library of previously recorded exemplary messages on various maternal heath topics available in their native language.

-Pregnant mothers can subscribe to a dedicated SMS Channel and have a group chat option available.

-Calls and messages will be flagged for level of urgency.

-Volunteers must try to verify identity of message recipients when calling back.

-Volunteers will know how to activate local medical personnel and welfare organizations.

-The Free Midwife Hotline will be promoted by word of mouth, targeted outreach, existing maternal heath networks and by celebrity endorsements in print, radio and TV.

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

Gmail and Google Calendar, Skype, Netbook, Smartphone, Phone

How could this work in a low-literacy context?

Employ simple to remember phone numbers, pregnancy icons, targeted phone calls and radio ads in the local language. Use Bollywood movie stars to promote the service on TV.

Which partners could help realise and deliver this solution?

  • Oxfam
  • Nokia
  • Mobile operators
  • NGOs
  • Government
  • Other - Feel free to elaborate in your description of the concept

Concept Builds

I would like to apply to develop this concept using the Google for Nonprofits program:

Virtual Team

Randy Wang, Sarah Fathallah, Justin Kim, Robyn Sneeringer, Marie Leznicki, Vincent Cheng, Tanja Rosenqvist, Ian Sullivan


Join the conversation:

Photo of Obey'Kiia ShawtyBhadd L

i was thinking that a midwife can give me advice on what i may have done wrong , when it came down to me inseminating myself

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