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“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, advice and referrals over the phone. Originally developed as a maternal and child health innovation, CCPF has evolved to become a general health hotline, providing information, advice and referrals on a broad range of health topics including nutrition, cancer, HIV, and common health concerns, in accordance with Ministry of Health guidelines. Through CCPF, women and caregivers can also sign up to receive personal text or voice reminders on maternal and child health topics specific to their month of pregnancy or their child’s age.

CCPF:

  • 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).

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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 provides regular text or voice messages on reproductive, maternal, and newborn health topics. Messages are tailored to the client’s week of pregnancy or a child’s age.

CCPF is one of the only digital health initiatives of its kind with a combined hotline and mobile message service. Where needed, community networks are used to mobilize users and ensure access to services for those without phones.

Impact

In 2013, an independent evaluation found that CCPF contributed to statistically significant improvements in maternal and child health indicators, per:

  • Increased use of antenatal care (ANC) within the first trimester
  • Increased use of a bed net during pregnancy and for children under five
  • Early initiation of breastfeeding
  • Increased knowledge of healthy behaviors in pregnancy including drinking more water and minimizing strenuous lifting
  • Increased knowledge that some traditional medicines can be harmful in pregnancy
  • Increased knowledge of maternal health services including number of recommended prenatal visits

Read the Executive 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

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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)
  • A “tips and reminders” system to deliver health messages to clients via SMS and voice (developed by VillageReach)

Learn more about VillageReach ICT capabilities

Expanding to Serve More

Use of the service has increased significantly since its launch in 2011. CCPF currently covers nine districts in Malawi and is accessible to over 5 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 (MoH) endorses CCPF and is currently  in the process of transitioning operations from NGO VillageReach to the Ministry with the goal of completing national scale up of Airtel CCPF to all districts by the end of 2017. An official Memorandum of Understanding has been signed with the Ministry of Health, 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.  An official Memorandum of Understanding has been signed with the Ministry of Health, laying out the government’s commitment to fully own and operate the service

Key Partners

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

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