Aponjon reducing the gap between supply and demand for healthcare
DHAKA, Jan 11, 2022 (BSS) - The rising burden of diseases are boosting the demand for affordable and quality healthcare in Bangladesh. Presently people living both in urban and rural areas lay importance to healthcare for prevention, treatment and management of illness and preservation of physical wellbeing.
Keeping the growing medical emergencies of the people in mind, the government has put in sustained efforts to better health care system across the country by adopting different initiatives to improve the quality of health services and strengthen the country's capacity to handle future health emergencies. The introduction of community clinics to reach health services to the doorsteps of people especially for mothers and children is worth mentioning.
To augment the health services in the country, mobile health service 'Aponjon' is getting popularity among the common people.
Pregnant mothers, children and their family members are getting instant health services over mobile phones by just dialing '16227' after registering at mobile operators Grameen Phone, Airtel, Robi and Banglalink across the country.
They get the health services from specialist physicians.
Sources said the e-Health service is one of the most important initiatives of the present government to make the country digitalized. Bangladesh is the lone country in the South Asian nations who introduced the services first.
The then US former foreign minister Hilary Clinton inaugurated the Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA) as part of Global Health Initiative in the month of May in 2011.
Bangladesh started the service as a pilot project in the month of December in 2012. Later, the organization 'Aponjon' began it works independently.
Officials said around seven crore people use mobile phones across the country while the active mobile SIMS are around 13 crore.
So, the government has adopted the project as a public-private partnership initiative with the use of the mobile phone technology everywhere.
Health and Family Welfare Ministry and the Access to Information (A2I), Prime Minister's Office, are assisting the project. Private organization 'D-net Bangladesh' is implementing the project with the financial assistant of different international NGOs including USAID.
Rizwana Rashid Ani, former chief coordinator of Aponjon, said the project began its journey in Bangladesh in 2012 aimed at earning the Millennium Sustainable Goals (MDGs) to protect the death rate of mother and children.
"We also got many successes through the mobile apps in the health sector," he added.
Many people from different areas across the country have been taking health services by calling '16227', Ani said.
Health specialized Dr Naznin Akther said, according to a survey, awareness and information can protect around 80 percent death rate during pregnancy and birth.
Many mothers and children in the country die in every hour for the complexities of pregnancy and birth, she said.
Naznin said many people in rural areas don't know the right information on how to take care a mother and her child. They should know about the care which is most important in reducing death rate.
They can get help from the health services of Aponjon, she added.
Piash Islam, Marketing and Communication Executive of Aponjon, said "We began our journey as a project...But now, we are giving the health services as a limited company."
People can get their health services round-the-clock, he said, adding they (people) can get their services by dialing '16227' from any mobile number.
Mothers can have a package through prepaid card, Piash said, adding they could buy the three-month long package at Taka 55, six-month package at Taka 100 and one-year long package at Taka 200.
"We have a plan to give the services to the mothers through video calling in future," Piash said.