Aponjon, MAMA Bangladesh

Client: ABT Associates & Dnet. Funded by USAIDmHealth Content- SMS & IVR

Aponjon is a mobile phone based health service for expecting and new mothers in Bangladesh under the auspices of Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA). Aponjon service was introduced in September, 2011 in 13 locations of four districts in Bangladesh with 1200 subscribers on a pilot basis. On completion of a successful pilot, Aponjon kicked off its national scale operation in August, 2012 in more than 20 districts of Bangladesh. The goal of the initiative is to contribute to a reduction in maternal and neonatal mortality by improving health-seeking and preventive behaviors of pregnant women, new mothers, and their families, which will contribute towards achievement of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 & 5.

SMS & IVR Content

Urban Guardian (Dhaka)
(Pregnant Mother)
Message- 3, 1 month 2 weeks
Urban Guardian (Dhaka)
(New Mother)
Message- 38, 1 Week
Rural (Chittagong)
(New Mother: Drama)
Message- 75, 1 Week
Rural (Sylhet)
(Husband: Pregnant Mother)
Message- 1, 1 Month 2 Weeks

Content Development Process Flow


We developed 356 SMS and 535 IVR health content for pre and post natal care. Initially contents from various resources were identified such as the ministry and other organizations working within this domain. The messages were developed and through consultation workshop organized by us. The messages were vetted by Health Experts from the ministry, NGOs, iNGOs, public and private organizations. We then developed sample messages and conducted focused group surveys to explore the most Effective Communication Format and Style Comprehension Level Test for Short Message Service (SMS) Language. A character called ‘Doctor Apa’ was established in the messages. The final messages for the IVR were recorded and along with SMSs having 150 characters. Initially the IVR and SMS were developed in Bangla colloquial divided for Urban and Rural users. The rural IVRs followed a docudrama style for better interpretation by its users. In the second phase of the project the IVRs were developed in different dialects for Sylhet and Chittagong users.