Print Edition - 2015-03-18 | Nation
Health service via mobile in Baglung
- Programme aims to reduce mortality rates among mothers and babies
Mar 17, 2015-
Mobile Phone Aided Health Service has been started in Baglung district with the aim of creating a healthy society by reducing mortality rates among mothers and infants .
According to Maheshwor Shrestha, senior Public Health Administrator, the Ministry of Health (MoH) has for the first time provisioned for keeping records and
providing regular health services to pregnant women through the use of mobile phones.
Joint-secretary at the Ministry Dr GD Thakur officially launched the health service by handing over a mobile phone to Female Community Health Volunteer Pushpa Shrestha in Baglung Municipality recently.
Women in the district can benefit from the newly-launched health service soon after pregnancy by sending a message to the ward’s health volunteer through the mobile phone, who will then register their name at the District Health Office (DHO) along with their personal details as well as their health condition.
“The District Health Office will then send the pregnant women timely reminders for pregnancy check-ups and inform them about signs that could mean that their health is in danger through regular text messages,” Shrestha said. “Other health services such as reminders for timely
check-ups and in-take of medicines, including sending health personnel for safe delivery and creating awareness regarding precautions that needs to be taken to take care of the nursing mothers and their newborn child will also be provided.”
The health ministry selected Baglung district, which has one of the highest maternal and infant mortality rates in the country, to initiate the mobile phone aided health service. Under this health programme, the DHO will be distributing mobile phones to around 542 female health volunteers in the district under the technical support of Medical Mobile and One Heart, two NGOs working in health care. Around two years ago, the ministry had introduced similar health programme in Burtibang,
Hatiya, Batakachaur and Paiyunpata in the district with a pilot project.
“With the decline in maternal deaths in the last two years, rate of prenatal checkups has also increased and more women now have access to medicines. Now the programme is being expanded to cover the entire district,” Thakur said. “Gauging the effectiveness of the project, it will be implemented all over the country.”
According to Thakur, the government is increasing its healthcare budget since hospitals are found to be lacking proper infrastructure and equipments to provide regular medical check-ups to pregnant women.
As per DHO’s data, around 7,000 women get pregnant in the district every year.
Published: 18-03-2015 08:34