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Vodacom South Africa's purpose is to use technology to Connect for Good. We believe in using digital solutions to empower women. This is why Mum&Baby by Vodacom Siyakha is such an important initiative. From breastfeeding to vaccinations, Mum&Baby by Vodacom Siyakha is helping caregivers make informed decisions for their family’s wellbeing.
The importance of:
Many women can’t breastfeed for various reasons, ranging from health concerns to long working hours (and less time with baby). But research has shown that breastfeeding offers benefits for both mothers and their babies. Here’s why you should consider breastfeeding, if possible:
- Breast milk consists of the ideal mix of nutrients required for your baby to grow.
- It also contains antibodies, which your baby uses to fight off illness.
- The physical act of breastfeeding (holding and touching your baby) helps you to bond with him or her.
- Breastfeeding lowers your risk of osteoporosis, breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
- It doesn’t cost a thing.
Within the first year after your baby is born, he or she should have doctor’s appointments 2–4 weeks after birth, every 2 months in the first six months, and every 3 months thereafter. You can expect the following during these visits:
- Your doctor will give your baby a physical exam, paying special attention to his or her growth.
- You can ask your doctor questions about vaccinations, child safety or any other concerns you may have.
- Hearing tests should be done at every checkup, as it’s easy for parents to miss signs of auditory problems.
Whether or not to inoculate children has been hotly debated in recent years, but the World Health Organization (WHO) continually reports the positive results of vaccination. For example, there was an 84% drop in death from measles between 2000 and 2016 because of the measles vaccination. Here are other benefits of vaccination:
- It protects children from infectious diseases, such as polio, that could result in amputations, brain damage and death.
- It prevents common childhood illnesses such as measles and mumps.
- Because infectious diseases can be passed on to other children, the elderly or others with weak immune systems, it is the responsibility of all caregivers to make sure every family member has received the necessary vaccinations.
What is Mum&Baby?
This informative tool is super helpful for all caregivers, from mums-to-be to doting grandparents and nervous dads. It provides stage-based pregnancy information and advice, and you will receive three weekly SMSes to keep you updated on your pregnancy.
With an average of 1.2 nurses for every 1,000 people – compared to eight for every 1,000 in the United Kingdom – accessing vital healthcare and information in South Africa is a challenge for millions.
Many people in South Africa face long queues to receive health advice for themselves and their families, and often have to travel long distances to reach a clinic, especially in rural areas.
To help address this problem, Vodacom developed Mum&Baby: a simple, mobile-based service that provides customers with free step-by-step advice on pregnancy, neonatal and childcare through SMS, educational articles, tutorials, videos and other tools hosted on the platform.
Available in multiple languages and with no data costs, Vodacom’s Mum&Baby has helped 1.2 million parents and caregivers take positive actions to improve their child’s health since its launch in 2017.
In the two years since its release, Mum&Baby has already made a difference in many families’ lives – 30% of registered subscribers are pregnant women, 27% are moms and 24% are partners. 98% have used the information supplied by Mum&Baby to improve their and their children’s lives.
While many respondents to the survey conducted as part of KPMG’s study said they did get some health information from health centres or clinics, they said that without Vodacom’s Mum&Baby service it would be difficult to get similar information from a single reliable source.
Mum&Baby is available on USSD or via a mobisite, so it’s always easy to access. Take responsibility for your and your baby’s health: register for Mum&Baby.