The sixth National Summit on Innovations in the Public Healthcare System is scheduled to start on November 16 in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. The two-day summit will share some of the most innovative efforts undertaken by states in public health, and will help explore which programmes are scalable at the national level, and which could be adopted by other states.
Some programmes to be showcased include delayed cord clamping (DCC) in Gujarat. DCC is the practice of clamping the placenta cord of a newborn a few minutes rather than seconds after birth, allowing more placental blood to flow into the newborn, thus increasing the infant’s blood volume. According to various studies, this is more conducive to the healthy development of the brain of a newborn. It also increases the infant’s iron stores, a crucial outcome in a country grappling with anemia, say senior health ministry officials.
The DCC has already been chosen for replication nationally, with former National Health Mission Mission director Manoj Jhalani — who has since joined the World Health Organization, South-East Asia Regional Office — having written to the states to explore incorporating the practice in their respective programmes.
The Basti Dawakhanas of Telangana, built along the lines of the Mohalla clinics of Delhi that aim to bring preventive and promotive healthcare to the neighbourhood to promote health and wellness, too are on their way to be nationally scaled.
Another innovation to be summit is the mobile phone app called ImTeCHO (Innovative Mobile-phone Technology for Community Health Operators) in Gujarat, which is built on the principles of the Mother and Child Tracking System. It sends messages and daily schedules to accredited social health activists (ASHAs) so that they have the information of every pregnant woman due for a pre-natal check-up or every new baby due for a immunisation shot under their watch. This acts both as a reminder to the workers on the ground and as an important aid for their supervisors to keep watch on their progress.
Kerala’s Mission Aardram, which aims at creating a people-friendly health delivery system, will also be showcased at the summit. The programme, through state-of-the-art investigation and intervention protocols, envisages transforming all Primary Health Centers into Family Health Centres as a first-level health delivery point.
The mission envisages ensuring quality care at Primary Health Centres. All high footfall hospitals will be transformed to patient-friendly Out Patient Service providers. The services include web-based appointment system, virtual queues, patient reception at registration centres, and waiting rooms with wi-fi facilities.
Both ImTeCHO and Mission Aardram are entries in the session on innovations relevant for Ayushman Bharat – Health and Wellness Centres, of which 1,53,000 centres are being set up in the country.
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