NEW YORK, 13th July 2016 (WAM) — The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) are digitising the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Handbook in the form of a mobile application called the ‘E-MCH Handbook’.

Shokichi Sakata, Chief Representative of the JICA Jordan Office, and Dr. Akihiro Seita, UNRWA Director of Health, signed a memorandum of understanding yesterday in Amman, Jordan, to start the joint project which aims to develop a mobile software application for the MCH Handbook to be used by Palestinian refugee mothers in Jordan with smartphones, UNRWA said in a press release.

The E-MCH Handbook application will be connected to the agency’s e-Health system and make it possible for mothers to access their health records online and receive improved and modernised health services. In addition, the application will enable them to get useful and educational health information through their smartphones.

JICA has been promoting the MCH Handbook around the world, and it has already been introduced in more than 10 countries. UNRWA started utilising the MCH Handbook in 2010, with the help of JICA. Today, it is being used in all five of the Agency’s fields of operations by pregnant Palestine refugee mothers – more than 90,000 each year. This will be the first project to digitise the MCH Handbook.

UNRWA is mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance