Hilmi Quraishi pioneered the use of mobile technology to promote health and safety, increase access to health services, and influence behaviour-change for the isolated, marginalised and rural communities. This timely, accessible medium often has made the difference between life and death.
Hilmi’s organisation, ZMQ educates people to create positive behaviour change and establish appropriate health practices through games and messages. These messages are culturally sensitive, interactive and adapted for regional needs, increasing their acceptance. Hilmi has successfully leveraged existing human networks of SHG’s, ASHA workers, and Anganwadi workers to implement projects like the Women Mobile Lifeline Channel program, deepening their acceptance and reach. The Women Mobile Lifeline Channel project has created access for essential lifeline services like prenatal care and immunization to over 120,000 women in Haryana, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Using a mobile phone channel, these networks register women from rural and marginalised communities and share their medical profiles. This helps ZMQ assess individual needs and provide suitable information.
Similarly, ZMQ’s Freedom Polio project leveraged a network of 1800 Community Mobilization Coordinators (CMCs) to implement community level health management for Polio control in high-risk areas. These CMCs use mobile technology to educate patients on polio prevention, and manage their post-medical treatment follow-ups. Now adopted by UNICEF and Rotary, this project reaches over 1.5 million under-5 years old children every year in Uttar Pradesh.
Hilmi also creates access to health services and solutions using mobiles telephones and a technology linked model (FTLM) that integrates technology into the design, processes, management and implementation of resource constrained rural programs. This technology model has made processes more efficient and helped community workers focus on medical aspects of the work. One of Hilmi’s key achievements has been influencing the changeover of the routine paper-led DOTS system setup to support tuberculosis control to a community-led technology model. This has now been adopted by the Haryana Government.
ZMQ is recognized worldwide as the “One Rupee” technology company for bringing down the cost per beneficiary to under 1 rupee for a project that is scaled. It recently set up the Mobile for Development lab to support CSOs with practical and sustainable mobile solutions connecting them to masses at a cost range of 40-55 paisa per person. ZMQ has successfully accomplished over 40 behavior change projects using mobile phones and created over 15 system changing solutions on mHealth from HIV/AIDS, TB, MCH, Immunization, FP to Polio. ZMQ’s game-based solutions are used by Butterflies and T4C in Africa.
Hilmi continues to evolve the communication model for mobile phones while lobbying for a “Mobile for All” world. The Mobile for All movement is advocating for a universal right to connectivity ensuring mobile phones are never disconnected for essential lifeline services like primary health care, even if they have no balance in account.
Note: This was updated in December, 2013. Read on for the ELECTION profile