Essay on Can Mobile Phones Help Fight Against Undernutrition?

Essay on Can Mobile Phones Help Fight Against Undernutrition?

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An article titled “Can mobile phones help fight against undernutrition?”, written by Inka Barnett, was published at The Guardian at 4 September 2014. Barnett is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies. She is also a nutritionist and is conducting a work on real time monitoring of nutrition applying mobile phone technology. In order to define the article’s target audience, the stance of the author, as well as to identify her objective and whether she achieved her goal, it is essential to consider several aspects presented in the article. For example, the type of language, the author’s position about the subject, in which section of the newspaper the article was published and the examples she used.

Inka says that several nutrition projects are using mobile technology to treat undernutrition throughout the world. One of them is supported by UNICEF and its purpose is to get data from Kenyans children’s health through text message. A design was submitted by a group of researchers to analyze the adoption of mobile phones in a nutrition program in Indonesia. However, there are few studies related to this subject.

Considering the fact that the author is nutritionist and that she used some expressions, such as “undernourished”, “stunted”, a possible intended audience are the nutritionists and people related to health area (nurses, physicians). Another target are the researchers in healthcare and technology, since she is leading a research related to both fields and she used links to researches and studies associated with these subjects. By mentioning NGOs and donors that “have started to integrate mobile phones into their nutrition programmes” and using the word “technology” more than ten times, she is trying to reach p...


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...ter understanding of how context affects mobile phone technology for nutrition service delivery. This is essential to develop successful programmes in different settings.” and finishes with this sentence: “A study is needed so that this technology can reach its full potential to contribute to improving nutrition around the world.”. Clearly she is making her best to make the readers think the same way as her. She always uses the importance of improving nutrition projects in order to justify her research and other researches that may come.

Therefore the text should be taking seriously, even though the author may have her personal reasons (research at Institute of Development Studies) to convince the audience. After all it seems a very important subject which may improve various nutrition programs and lead to help a lot of people, principally children, around the world.

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