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MoH&FW takes Kilkari, Mobile Academy services under its aegis

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Kilkari delivers weekly, time-sensitive audio information on reproductive, maternal neonatal, child health directly to families mobile phones

Kilkari and Mobile Academy services, the two mobile health services, has been transitioned to Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoH&FW). Kilkari was initially supported by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID and Barr Foundation, which ended on March 31, 2019.

BBC Media Action will complete the planned transition of responsibility for Kilkari and Mobile Academy to MoH&FW and its partners who will continue its vital work into the future. The Indian government has covered all call costs since the scale up began, making the service free to millions of families and hundreds of thousands of healthcare workers.

BBC Media Action – in collaboration with state government and with support from BMGF – first launched Kilkari and Mobile Academy in Bihar in 2012-2013. GoI adopted the services in January 2016, kicking off the national scale-up as part of the Digital India Mission as of February 2019.

Kilkari delivers weekly, time-sensitive audio information about reproductive, maternal, neonatal and child health (RMNCH) directly to families’ mobile phones from the 4th month of pregnancy until the child is a year old.

To achieve their objective, Mobile Academy, a mobile-based training course designed to refresh Frontline Health Workers (FLWs) knowledge of life-saving RMNCH behaviours, and to improve the quality of their engagement with new and expecting mothers and their families.

Kilkari has reached 9.6 million subscribers in five languages in 13 states, who have listened to more than 200 million minutes of content. To put this in perspective, 200 million minutes is 380 years’ worth of listening.

Research indicates that Kilkari has increased women’s RMNCH knowledge and interaction with frontline health workers, stimulated discussion with husbands and other family members and had a positive impact on a range of health practices – particularly those related to family planning.

FLWs who have completed Mobile Academy have significantly higher levels of knowledge of lifesaving RMNCH behaviours, confidence in their ability to answer families’ questions and persuade them to adopt these behaviours, and enhanced standing and trust in the community.

3,03,296 FLWs had enrolled into Mobile Academy and 2,50,169 had successfully completed the course.

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