APONJON (POWER OF HEALTH IN EVERY MOTHER’S HAND)
Commissioned By: USAID, Project Durations: 2011 – 2018
The overall objective of the project was to promote equitable access to quality health care for all people. The goal of Aponjon, as a mHealth service, was to contribute toward substantial reduction in maternal and newborn deaths by improving health seeking behaviors and preventative care in pregnant women, new mothers and their families.
This was done through the offering of health advice via mobile apps, texts, voice messages. A 24/7 phone counselling support service was also implemented.
Dnet's Aponjon was the largest mHealth service in South Asia. Dnet became the first agency in the world to implement a mHealth initiative on a national level, where a private-sector led sustainable business model was pro-actively promoted. Aponjon’s target audience were new and expectant mothers along with children up to 5 years old.
The aim was to improve the health and nutrition-seeking behavior of pregnant women, new mothers, and their families, to contribute to a reduction in maternal and neonatal mortality. Aponjon offered health information through websites, mobile apps, mobile texts, and voice message channels. It also offered a 24/7 counselling-line service, where subscribers could consult with a medical doctor when needed.
The Aponjon service was launched in September 2011. The national scale operation of Aponjon started in August 2012. Aponjon has more than 2.2 million customers across the country at this stage. Expectant and new mothers are the primary subscribers. Family members such as husband, mother, mother-in-law, and any other relative can also be part of the service as secondary subscribers. Once registered, the primary subscribers receive two messages a week, and secondary subscribers receive one message per week to care for the pregnant mother and children.
Aponjon delivers week-by-week messages that are specific to the pregnancy cycle or age of the baby. It also delivers customized messages targeting urban and rural subscribers. It has the option of choosing a convenient time of the day to receive voice messages.
Two mobile apps, "Shogorbha" (for pregnant mothers) and "Koishor" (for adolescents), were also launched during this period. Aponjon Shogorbha has already reached more than 50,000 mothers and Aponjon Koishor has reached more than 10,000 adolescents.
One of the most notable features of Aponjon was that it was always designed to be a sustainable model. The messages were a paid, value added feature that Aponjon clients purchased. In 2018, after the donor funding concluded, the project continued on its own. Aponjon was rebranded as LifeChord. To make the venture more sustainable, Dnet built proprietary software to eliminate third party dependency and created new sales channels for additional sources of revenue.
Aponjon/LifeChord’s key features and strengths is in the high value content that is sent to clients for the improvement of their health and well-being. While that remains the core activity, the service has expanded to include more segments, more services and improved service delivery through strong partnerships, expert content team and integration with telecom operators.
Learn more: http://www.aponjon.com.bd/