Vodacom Offering Free Messaging Services to Mothers


Healthy Baby Text Messaging Service (HPHB) which is also known as the “Wazazi Nipendeni SMS Service” provides expectant women and new mothers in Tanzania with information on gestation and early child care.

HPBP also disseminates information to users on among other things; impending post natal visits, breastfeeding and family planning.

Sofar, over 225,000 Vodacom subscribers have registered for the HPHB free text messaging service and have to date received over 18 million messages and reminders on pregnancy and childcare for new born babies.

“In July 2014 Vodacom through the Vodacom Foundation committed to ‘zero rate’ these messages for at least one year,” Tanzania’s Chief Officer of Corporate Affairs Georgia Mutagahywa said at the launch event in Dar es Salaam, Vodacom.

The value of our investment in this initiative will be an estimated USD 750,000 (over Tshs 1,200,000,000 /-) by July 2015. Mutagahywa goes on to say that the Vodacom Foundation, through its partnership with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and CDC, with support from the US.

President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), aims to continue to play an active role in the addressing of maternal and early childhood health issues in Tanzania. “The foundation has a dream… to see as many as half a million of its subscribers using this free life saving information by the end of 2016.

Access to life-saving information is not a luxury but a necessity and we at Vodacom Tanzania through our Foundation, are proud to be able to use our technology to do so,” he said.

For his part, the Minister for Health and Social Welfare Hon. Dr Seif Suleiman hailed the Vodacom Foundation, CDC and other partners for supporting maternal and early childhood health campaigns in Tanzania.

She said that the foundation’s partnership with the ministry to finance the costs for the HPHB maternal health and early childcare reminders and informative messages sent to Vodacom subscribers was an important contribution from the private sector towards sustaining the important service.

With support from PEPFAR, through the CDC, the project has been financing the service implementation and partnership coordination as well as the messaging costs to date.

“Over 50 per cent of the registrants consist of Vodacom subscribers. The Vodacom Foundation’s commitment to financing the messaging costs for at least one year, for its subscribers is an important step towards sustaining a service that supports the government’s goal to achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4, 5 and 6.

The company is the market leader in the country and has introduced many firsts in the Tanzanian market. Perhaps the one service that really stands out is its M-PESA money transfer service which has over 4.5 million active M-PESA users. Over 200 organizations today, accept bill payment via M-PESA.

Vodacom Foundation operates on three main pillars which are health, education and financial inclusion. The foundation has over the years supported over 120 projects targeting those who are most in need across the country.

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