I'm so grateful and excited to see such an enormous amount of progress in this work in such a short period of time. I was able to meet with mentors of mine and local residents to understand how I want to activate on this problem.
Ultimately, while I was reading about a cow-tracking SMS app in Kenya, I realized that same concept can be applied to breastfeeding. (It sounds slightly crazy, I know, but hear me out.)
The idea is an app to provide information and breastfeeding support for mothers.
Breastfeeding works best when mothers have a knowledgeable and nurturing community to help them work through the inevitable questions and problems, as well as a supportive work environment, but not every mother has this. The app provides a virtual support system and tips for mothers to practice exclusive breastfeeding.
There are around 170 million mobile subscriptions in Nigeria. Currently, around 86 percent of the population is using a mobile phone including those in rural areas. The app will be an SMS (text message) and voice-based mobile phone application to account for those without smartphones. Mothers can join simply by texting a given phone number.
I've pitched this idea to an organization working in child health in Nigeria and we have partnered to get a pilot going. Our group will be meeting with the Nigerian government soon to get approval for these efforts.
Here's what the next few months will look like:
- Meeting with the Nigerian government for approval
- Collecting a team of passionate, driven people
- Building out our SMS platform
- Launching our pilot in rural Nigeria
So much more info to come soon! Check out the brief below to read in-depth about the solution :)