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ITU to Leverage M-health to Fight Chronic Non-communicable Diseases
Source: www.futuregov.asia
Source Date: Monday, December 16, 2013
Focus: ICT for MDGs
Created: Dec 17, 2013

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is working together with healthcare company Bupa on a global m-Health initiative called ‘Be Healthy, Be Mobile’. The partnership will leverage the mobile technologies to fight chronic non-communicable diseases, including diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular and chronic respiratory diseases in low and middle income countries.

“Non-communicable diseases are the single greatest factor contributing to mortality and the overall disease burden in developed countries and emerging economies alike. Where m-Health is concerned, ITU works with the World Health Organisation to share our long-standing experience and our competence in mobile technologies and healthcare as well as our network of partners. We are truly excited about the potential of this new partnership with Bupa to help us accelerate the adoption of mobile health interventions worldwide,” said ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré.

Meanwhile, Bupa CEO Stuart Fletcher said: “Of the 36 million people who died from chronic disease in 2008, nine million were under the age of 60; and 90 per cent of these premature deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries. m-Health is a cost-effective and accessible way to get health information and tools to people so that they can keep well and we can reduce the impact of chronic diseases worldwide. Through this partnership we will be at the heart of a systemic intervention in healthcare and will help millions of people to live longer, healthier, happier lives, fulfilling our purpose.”

In its first phase, the initiative will focus on deploying mobile health interventions in areas such as diabetes, smoking cessation, hypertension, wellness and training of health workers. More than 25 countries have already expressed interest in participating. A smoking cessation programme via mobile phones is currently underway in Costa Rica.

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