Telecom service provider Vodacom Tanzania has partnered with the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) in a health initiative aimed at supporting mother-child nutrition education courtesy of mobile money transfer service M-Pes
According to WFP officials, women taking part in the project will receive a monthly M-Pesa transfer of TShs 16,000 (US$10) to be used for purchasing healthier and nutritious food.
The pilot project was officially launched on Tuesday last week in Tanzania’s Mtwara region. The area is highly affected by food shortages and reports from the WFP indicate that people living in the region are prone to chronic malnutrition and micronutrient deficiency.
WFP Country Director Richard Ragan explained that the project would reach out to 2,200 households in the region to spearhead nutrition education .
“Using mobile technology through the M-Pesa platform offers an alternative to the traditional delivery of food,” he said. “The support of Vodacom Tanzania and WFP is reinforcing national efforts to tackle undernutrition in Tanzania.”
He further disclosed that the money would be given on the basis of health clinic attendance during a child’s first thousand days of life.
Vodacom Foundation head Yessaya Mwakifulefule confirmed that the company would continue supporting Vodacom’s Mobile for Good projects aimed at uplifting health and social welfare of vulnerable groups in the country.
Mwakifulefule noted: “Using Vodacom’s M-Pesa platform, we will help WFP transfer cash entitlements each month directly into the hands of beneficiaries,” Mwakifulefule emphasize, “This, combined with nutrition education, will encourage pregnant and nursing women and mothers with children under the age of 2 to purchase healthy foods and diversify their diets.”
“Vodacom Tanzania is delighted to be part of this great project; it is the company’s purpose to see its mobile technology transform people’s lives in each sector in the country,” concludes Mwakifulefule.
The programme aims to roll out to 27 villages of the wards of Nanguruwe, Naumbu, Madimba and Nitekela in consultation with Mtwara District Council.