In a significant e-governance initiative, the women and child welfare department of Andhra Pradesh has digitised the data on pregnant women, lactating mothers, and malnourished children in the state, which will help the government provide them nutritious food, medicines, and make ambulances and emergency medical services available on time.
The Health and Tracking System which is available on the CM CORE Dashboard (CM Office Real-Time Executive Dashboard) gives details of 3.9 lakh pregnant woman in the villages and remote settlements. If anyone in the household has a phone, then the contact number is listed in the system on which health workers and primary health centres keep in touch with the woman. The database now has details of 3.9 lakh pregnant women of the total 4.5 lakh pregnant women in the state. The difference, officials said, is because of not receiving reports from some few villages, or data is still being updated. To make the tracking system more robust, chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu suggested setting up of call centres which will give details of the food and nutrition that has to be made available to pregnant women and lactating mothers, infants, and, if the callers are not in the database, then enter the data in real time into the tracking system database.
“The Women and Child Welfare Department will keep track of women nearing their delivery date and keep ready ambulance/emergency services, food and medicine supply for them. Through this we can increase the number of institutional deliveries. This can in turn lead to reducing maternal mortality rate (MMR)” secretary (Women and Child Welfare) Nilam Sawhney said.
Seeking focus on reducing Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR), the chief minister said that this year should witness a quantum drop in IMR and MMR rates in the state.
The state government is also working on a plan to ensure that adolescent girls receive proper dose of folic acid/iron tablets to battle anemia. “Create awareness among women and bring in a mindset change. This will also increase the average age at marriage and arrest the trend of child marriages. Another advantage is that this will also eventually lead to a reduction in IMR and MMR,’’ Naidu said. Further, he asked the department officials to provide updated information on the number of ambulances in the state and analyse the regularity in usage on a case-by-case basis. “Based on this, we can procure more 108 ambulances. This will help us integrate data with call centres which will receive information once the ambulance picks up a pregnant woman and drops her off at the hospital/PHC/CHC. This will establish fool-proof verification,” an official said.
Stating that the department can integrate with the health department, the chief minister said that data up to 5 years (after birth) has to be recorded on a year-by-year basis, after which the next scale would be 15 years (after puberty) — to get the health profile of any individual in the state.