Sunday, January 16, 2011

Centre to launch mobile tech to save mothers

The Union ministry of health and family welfare is planning to adopt a mobile-based technology on the lines of the 108 ambulance services. This would be available in states, which do not have the 108 service.
The project would be implemented in 65 most backward districts in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan and Jharkhand as a first phase pilot, where maternal mortality rates are higher and no ambulance services are at present.

Sanjay Gupte, ex president, Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI), said, “In rural areas, where the 108 ambulance service is not available, this mobile and SMS technology will be available at the village level by setting up call centres.”

India currently has the highest number of mobile users in the world and through this service they can have access to junior practitioners and doctors in remote areas, he added.
The project is expected to cost Rs 500 crore.
The Cetre’s National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) scheme was facing a shortage of skilled persons, right from consultants to practitioners.even after the Rs 33,000-crore Budget allocation for the project.
The maternal mortality rate has come down to 250, from 300 per 100,000 deliveries two years ago, and is expected to further come down to 100 by 2015 to meet the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goal.
According to a UN report, occurrence of a maternal death is 41 times more likely in India than in the US and 10 times more than in China. Every five minutes a pregnant woman dies in India, taking the number to 200 per day. The current pregnancy death risk is one in every 40 cases.
According to him, in Gujarat, two third of the emergencies are related to maternal death. In Sri Lanka, the district medical officer has been given the power to call the Army, helicopter in emergency cases to save the mother.
He said the project plan would be finalised next week when the Union home minister holds a meeting here.source

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