Barcelona, 13th February 2007 – Leading players in the mobile phone industry and the U.S. Government have joined forces to fight HIV/AIDS and other health challenges in 10 African countries. Phones for Health is a cutting-edge $10 million public-private partnership, which brings together mobile phone operators, handset manufacturers and technology companies – working in close collaboration with Ministries of Health, global health organizations, and other partners – to use the widespread and increasing mobile phone coverage in the developing world to strengthen health systems.
"The explosive spread of mobile phone networks across the developing world has created a unique opportunity to significantly transform how countries can tackle global health challenges," said Dr. Howard Zucker, Assistant Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), representing the WHO at the Partnership’s launch at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona.
The Phones for Health partners – the GSM Association’s Development Fund, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Accenture Development Partnerships, Motorola, MTN and Voxiva – are initially focused on 10 African countries, building on an already successful deployment in Rwanda. The partnership is also likely to be extended further in Africa and Asia to address tuberculosis, malaria and other infectious diseases.