“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)

mHealth for Maternal and Child Health

Chipatala cha pa Foni (CCPF), or Health Center by Phone, is an mHealth innovation in Malawi designed to increase access to timely and appropriate maternal, neonatal and child health information, advice and care. In a country like Malawi with one of the highest rates of maternal, child, and infant mortality in the world, knowing where to go for care and when to seek care are integral to reducing maternal and child mortality rates.


  • Provides women and caregivers with greater control and opportunity to interact with the health system without having to travel long distances to a health facility.
  • Increases access to critical antenatal and postnatal care information
  • Increases appropriate home and facility-based care for pregnant women and children
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 reproductive, maternal and child health issues 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 mHealth 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.


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


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)
  • An IVR to support retrieving health messages on-demand (developed in partnership by Yo! Uganda)

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 seven districts in Malawi serving a population of over 1.3 million people, including 515,000 women and children. The Malawi Ministry of Health (MoH) endorses CCPF and is currently planning for national scale up. The platform is also being expanded to better support antenatal and postnatal care through appointment and delivery follow up and direct communication with community health workers on client support and care needs. Future enhancements include expanded nutrition modules and content, linking CCPF to emergency transport networks, and integration with mobile decision support tools. Contributions from strategic partners and individual donors will support the infrastructure improvements and partnership development required for this next phase of expansion from four districts to the national level.

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

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