Dr. Aparna Hegde, Founder of NGO ARMMAN Features at #15 on Fortune’s List of World’s 50 Greatest Leaders
Mumbai: Dr. Aparna Hegde, founder of the India-based non-profit ARMMAN, has been listed by Fortune as one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders. She is #15 and one of only two Indians on the prestigious list which features extraordinary achievers who stepped up during the pandemic to respond to the unexpected crisis. Other notable individuals include New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and activist Malala Yousafzai.
Dr. Aparna Hegde is an internationally renowned Urogynecologist, social entrepreneur, published researcher and a TED Fellow. During her medical residency, Dr. Hegde witnessed closely how pervasive systemic problems led to preventable maternal and child mortality and morbidity. Unable to tolerate the status quo, she founded ARMMAN in 2008 while completing her medical training at Stanford University. ARMMAN leverages technology to improve health outcomes for underprivileged pregnant women and children in India.
Fortune has specifically highlighted ARMMAN’s quick response to COVID-19, along with their model that leverages technology to achieve scale. When COVID-19 struck, ARMMAN adapted its extensive technology platform and expertise and within a week, launched 4 COVID-19 interventions to support pregnant women, children and health workers. The pan-India free Virtual OPD (clinic) has provided over 14,000 pregnant women and children with free consultations with obstetricians and paediatricians via a toll-free number. 300,000 women living in urban slums in Mumbai have been sent weekly automated voice calls (and text messages) on critical COVID-19 related information directly on their mobile phones, in the local language. Free call-centre support along with a data repository has linked over 60,000 pregnant women & children with essential health services and facilities. ARMMAN has also sent critical information through calls/text messages to 800,000 health workers, in partnership with the government.
Dr. Aparna says, “I feel honoured and humbled to have ARMMAN’s work recognised by such a prestigious international platform. We are privileged to have partnerships with the national and state governments, on-ground NGOs and other organisations that have enabled this reach and impact. This recognition is an impetus for us at ARMMAN to continue augmenting and implementing our tech-based interventions for pregnant women, mothers, children and health workers across the country.”