ghg and National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition
text4baby Mobile Health Initiative
“Brilliant, important and necessary,” said one judge of ghg’s pro bono text4baby Mobile Health Initiative. “Completely on strategy.”
Launched in February 2010, this educational campaign aims to reduce infant morbidity and mortality rates in the US by motivating expectant mothers to sign up for a free text message service that gives them information about a healthy pregnancy. After texting their due date to text4baby, women get weekly messages timed to their pregnancy and throughout their child’s first birthday. Texts include information about nutrition, immunization and birth defect prevention.
“What’s not to love about this—it’s a great public service pro bono effort,” said another judge.
Targeted are young, pregnant women who are motivated to have a healthy pregnancy but are challenged by socioeconomic circumstances (lower income and education levels; predominantly black or Hispanic; etc.). The agency noted that these women “are least likely to get exposed to good maternal health information and are most likely to benefit from it.”
One judge praised the effort as “well targeted,” noting it’s achieved “99% penetration of all phones in challenged populations.” Another judge called the campaign a “very unique application.”
The service was designed to be simple and direct. Messages are optimistic and positive, and the agency said the voice is authoritative, friendly, trustworthy and contemporary.
About 50,000 women had signed up as of May, and two million messages had been delivered. The program has more than 200 partners (including Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, George Washington University, MTV, US Department of Health and Human Services, and more than 40 major health plans). Text4baby coalitions in 40 states are actively supportive. Many mobile partners, including AT&T, Verizon and Sprint, have waived fees for receiving the texts.
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