A total of eight organisations have partnered with the GSMA through its Mobile for Development mHealth programme to launch a new cross-ecosystem partnership designed to provide a range of mobile services to women and children focusing on nutrition across Sub-Saharan Africa.

The programme, which is targeting an addressable market of 15.5 million pregnant women and mothers with children under five years of age, has attracted partners such as Gemalto, Hello Doctor, Lifesaver, Mobenzi, Mobilium, MTN, Omega Diagnostics and Samsung.

“This new mobile ecosystem partnership, developed by the GSMA, is committed to connecting the mobile and health industries to develop commercially sustainable mHealth services that meet public health needs,” said Tom Phillips, chief regulatory officer, GSMA.

“The companies in this partnership are working to deliver the objectives of the United Nations Every Women Every Child Global Strategy, as well as the Global Nutrition for Growth Compact, in the areas of nutrition and maternal and child health. We call on mobile ecosystem players, health providers, governments, NGOs, civil society and others to work with us to launch life-saving mobile health services.”

The service will be jointly launched in seven countries – Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia – from September 2014. Phase two, which commences in 2015, will incorporate additional partners and services and will also address Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania.

The partnership will collectively reduce barriers to handset ownership and connectivity for consumers and health workers, by offering discounted Samsung handsets and tablets to consumers and health workers across Africa, providing access to the Samsung ecosystem, and a pre-embedded Smart Health application that provides a range of professional applications, information and services on 80 million Samsung handsets.