“CCPF provides pregnant women and mothers in our most rural regions with first-hand, quality healthcare information they may otherwise not have access to.”

~ Senior Chief Kwataine

Chipatala cha pa Foni (CCPF)

A Lifeline for Family Health 

In remote and rural communities, distance often prevents people from seeking health care when they need it.  In a country like Malawi with one of the highest rates of maternal, child, and infant mortality in the world, knowing where and when to seek care is critical to reducing maternal and child mortality rates.  Chipatala cha pa Foni (CCPF) is a toll-free health hotline in Malawi that creates a link between the health center and remote communities. CCPF is staffed by trained health workers who provide information and referrals over the phone. Originally developed as a maternal and child health innovation, CCPF has evolved to become a general health hotline, covering  all general health topics including nutrition and sexual and reproductive health in accordance with Ministry of Health guidelines. Through CCPF, women and caregivers can also sign up to receive voice reminders on maternal and child health topics specific to their month of pregnancy or their child’s age. CCPF for Adolescents extends the platform for HIV prevention with youth friendly health services and information for sexual and reproductive health.


  • Provides communities with greater control and opportunity to interact with the health system without having to travel long distances to the nearest health facility.
  • Increases access to critical antenatal and postnatal care information.
  • Increases appropriate home and facility-based care.
1 A woman living in Malawi has a 1 in 34 chance of dying during childbirth (World Bank 2014) and child mortality rates are unacceptably high at 71 per 1,000 live births (UNICEF, 2012).


Program Overview

CCPF has two main components:

  1. A toll-free hotline provides clients with information and advice on a wide range of health topics and refers callers displaying “danger signs” for further care at a village clinic, health center, or hospital.
  2. A “Tips and Reminders” mobile messaging service that provides clients with regular text or voice messages on reproductive, maternal, and newborn health topics and nutrition. Messages are tailored to the mother’s week of pregnancy, a child’s age (for children under one), or in the case of women of reproductive age to their date of enrollment.


An impact evaluation was conducted in 2018 comparing CCPF users in nine districts to non-users.

Compared to non-users, the evaluation found that the CCPF users were more likely to:

  • use antenatal care (ANC) within the first trimester
  • use a bed net for children under five
  • have greater knowledge of the frequency for daily feedings of children under five
  • have received HIV testing in the last two years
  • use a condom during their last sexual encounter, if unmarried
  • have used modern contraceptives in the past two years
  • have greater knowledge of post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)
  • have greater knowledge of the importance of the six food groups

Read the 2018 Summary of the Evaluation 

CCPF Saves Lives

Mercy, a 24 year old pregnant woman from the Dailesi village in Balaka, was saved by a phone call when she went into labor and could not reach the nearest health center, 12 km away.

Read Mercy’s story

Alina's story

Elina found out she was HIV positive during her pregnancy. She used tips and reminders for guidance during and after her pregnancy, and is grateful for the support CCPF gave her when she had questions about caring for her baby. Read Elina’s Story


The Platform

CCPF runs on a technology platform specifically designed to meet the challenge of low resource communities. Together with our partners, VillageReach developed the requirements for and built the associated technology components needed to support the program including:

  • A hotline application to manage client data and lead hotline workers through call protocols (developed in partnership with Baobab Health Trust, and now used in partnership with Viamo)
  • A “Voice Message” service allows clients to select and to listen to voice recordings; to process information relating to individuals services on sexual, reproductive, maternal, and child health topics using an ordinary cell phone. The recordings are tailored to the client’s week of pregnancy or a child’s age.

Learn more about VillageReach ICT capabilities

User Satisfaction Results

The satisfaction levels among CCPF users were high, as per surveys conducted as part of the 2018 evaluations, confirming prior user satisfaction surveys done over the phone. In this case, the surveys were conducted at the household level, which means that even people without a personal phone could be reached and were able to express their opinion. The vast majority of callers find value in CCPF because of the personalized health advice they got from a live hotline nurse.

  • 98% of CCPF users said customer care was very good or good
  • 98% of CCPF users who called with a sensitive/intimate question were satisfied with the privacy/confidentiality at the hotline
  • 99% of CCPF users were very likely or likely to call again
  • 57% of CCPF users said they would still call even if they had to pay for the service
  • 51% of CCPF users recommended the hotline to others

A family using CCPF. Photo: Jodi Ann Burey

Expanding to Serve More

Use of the service has increased significantly since its launch in 2011. CCPF has been expanded to all 28 districts in Malawi, ensuring nationwide coverage to 18 million people.

With the support and partnership of Africa’s largest mobile carrier, Airtel, CCPF continues to grow toward national scale. The Malawi Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) endorses CCPF and is currently  in the process of transitioning operations from NGO VillageReach to the Ministry. An official Memorandum of Understanding has been signed with the Ministry of Health and Population, laying out the government’s commitment to fully own and operate the service.

Contributions from strategic partners and individual donors support the infrastructure improvements and partnership development required for scaling.

Key Partners

  • Malawi Ministry of Health
  • Airtel
  • Germany/GIZ
  • Johnson & Johnson Corporate Contributions
  • Viamo
  • USAID Organized Network of Health Service Delivery for Everyone (ONSE)
  • CHAI
  • Baobab Health Trust
  • Support for Service Delivery Integration (SSDI)
  • Concern Worldwide Malawi

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Malawi healthcare worker