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Agent Of Change: Ford Empowers Women And Saves Lives In Rural India Through New Technology, SUV Capabilities

CHENNAI, India, DELHI, India, and DEARBORN, Mich., March 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- 

  • Ford worked with public and private organizations on a pilot program designed to bring the right healthcare to the women and children living in an inaccessible part of rural India
  • Sustainable Urban Mobility with Uncompromised Rural Reach, known as SUMURR, enabled childbirth for 41 women with high-risk mothers pregnancies, visited 54 villages, and reached more than 3,100 people to facilitate community awareness programs focused on maternal and child healthcare
  • One key element of the SUMURR program was the Ford Endeavour, an SUV designed to handle the rough terrain of the region and powered by some of Ford's most advanced technologies, which extended the physical reach of the healthcare services
  • Ford researchers are applying what was learned from SUMURR and the use of OpenXC, an open-source technology, to create customized user experiences and accelerate the creation of apps for mobile health

Henry Ford believed vehicles like his Model T would improve lives through greater mobility. More than 100 years later on the other side of the world, a young Indian mother named Mageswari connects that vision with the birth of her healthy baby boy.

Mageswari, 19, lives in Kodamaathi, a tiny village in rural India where Ford Motor Company just concluded a nine-month pilot program that entailed helping pregnant women overcome geographical and technological barriers that prevented them from receiving adequate healthcare.

Called Sustainable Urban Mobility with Uncompromised Rural Reach (SUMURR), the program made use of a Ford Endeavour SUV that was designed to handle the most difficult of terrains and traverse areas previously unreachable by four-wheeled vehicles. After arriving in rural areas, health professionals used laptops and cell phones to connect with doctors and medical help in ways they never have before.

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