Saturday October 21, 2017

Multiple e-health initiatives launched by the Health Ministry

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New Delhi: ‘Kilkari’, which aims at providing information on child care through mobile phone, was among the host of e-health initiatives launched by the Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda on Friday.

A family expecting the birth of a child can choose to obtain free audio messages on pregnancy, child birth and child care on its mobile phone from the second trimester of pregnancy until the child is one year old.

‘Kilkari’ was being launched in Jharkhand, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and high priority districts (HPDs) of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan in the first phase, the health ministry said.

Nadda also launched ‘mobile academy’, which is a free audio training course designed to expand and refresh the knowledge base of Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) and improve their communication skills.

‘Mobile academy’ allows ASHAs to upgrade their skills without the need to travel anywhere.

“These health services will be a game changer in health communications. They will bring us closer to people who need our services the most,” said Nadda.

He said the services aimed to improve family health, including family planning, reproductive, maternal and child health, nutrition, sanitation and hygiene.

Another facility launched on Friday is M-Cessation which will help those wanting to stop the use of tobacco.

Nadda said the tobacco users would be helped through text messages sent on their mobile phones.

“This is the first time in the world that such a two-way service is being provided as part of any mobile health initiative,” said Nadda.

A TB Missed Call initiative was also launched under which a helpline with a toll-free number will provide information, counselling and treatment support services for TB.

“Under this campaign the callers can give a missed call or call for free to get information related to TB symptoms, treatment services available, address and contact details of the nearest treatment facility etc.,” said the minister.

(IANS)

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FAIIMS asks Health Minister to reinstate removed AIIMS faculty

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New Delhi: Health Minister J P Nadda was asked by the Faculty Association of AIIMS (FAIIMS) to reinstate two faculty members of the institution, who were terminated for manhandling and misbehaving with a patient in 2015.

In a letter written to Nadda, the association also questioned the basis on which the inquiry committee was formed by the AIIMS director and also expressed concern over the conflict of interest of several members of the inquiry committee.

The All India Institute of Medical Sciences on January 10 terminated Kuldeep Kumar and Arvind Kumar of the medicine department for allegedly misbehaving and manhandling a patient in September last year.

A committee was set up under department head S K Sharma, which earlier this month took the decision to terminate the doctors.

Earlier, a doctor associated with FAAIIMS said, “Only seven faculties have been terminated till now in the history of AIIMS, but that was also because they went abroad and did not respond to the communication by the institution about their return.”

The letter written to Nadda further said that if the ministry failed to reinstate the two doctors, then the FAIIMS members will go on an indefinite strike against the institution’s administration.(IANS)

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Despite progress, India to miss MDG targets

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credit: www.youtube.com

New Delhi: India has achieved considerable progress in reducing infant and under-five mortality rates but is way behind in achieving the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets, said a new report released by the union health ministry.

The Millennium Development Goals, which include eight goals, were framed to address the world’s major development challenges with health and its related areas as the prime focus.

According to the National Health Profile 2015, released by Health Minister J.P. Nadda here, the Under Five Mortality Rate (U5MR) has declined from an estimated level of 125 per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 52 in 2012.

The report said given the rate of reduction of U5MR, India tends to reach the rate of 49 by 2015 as per the historical trend, missing the MDG target by seven percentage points.

“However, considering the continuance of the sharper annual rate of decline witnessed in the recent years, India is likely to achieve the target,” it added.

As far as the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) is concerned, it reduced by nearly 50 percent during 1990-2012 and the present level stands at 42.

Going by this trend, the IMR is likely to reach 40 deaths per 1,000 live births by 2015, missing the MDG target of 27 by 13 points.

India is required to reduce the Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) from an estimated level of 437 per 100,000 live births in 1990 to 109 per 100,000 live births by 2015.

But, at the historical pace of decrease, it would be able to reach an MMR of 140 per 100,000 live births by end 2015, falling short by 31.

The National Health Profile covers demographic, socio-economic, health status and health finance indicators, along with comprehensive information on health infrastructure and human resources in health.

The Central Bureau of Health Investigation (CBHI) has been publishing National Health Profile every year since 2005. This is the 11th edition.

The health minister also released an e-book of the report and said it was part of the many digital initiatives being taken by the government.

Nadda said that data was an important source of navigation.

“It helps in understanding the goals, our strengths and weaknesses and it is also an important means to strategize. Good compiled data enables the policymakers to make evidence-based policies and aids effective implementation of various schemes,” he added.

The minister said that the country now needs to work towards converting documented data into “real-time” data. “While digital data helps us to be more efficient, real time data helps to monitor our schemes and efforts in real time.”

He congratulated and appreciated CBHI for their recent initiatives regarding uses of geo-mapping of four different districts of different parts of the country such as the north-eastern region, south region, desert area and Jharkhand. He hoped that this exercise will extend to other parts of the country also.

Health Secretary B.K. Sharma said: “Data lets you plan. We need to collect data and that too at regular intervals.”

(IANS)

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Japanese encephalitis: Health ministry rushing expert team to Assam

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BJP Nadda
BJP Nadda

 

New Delhi: The union health ministry is rushing an expert team to Assam following an outbreak of Japanese encephalitis in the state, it was announced on Saturday.

Health and Family Welfare Minister J.P. Nadda held a review meeting of ministry officials over the issue and directed the director general of health services to immediately rush a team of experts to Assam to assist and advise the state health authorities in clinical management of the cases, according to an official statement issued here.

“All the necessary assistance is being provided to the state of Assam to handle this outbreak effectively,” Nadda said.

“We are closely monitoring the situation and whatever additional help is required would be provided with immediate effect.”

According to Nadda, ministry officials were in regular touch with the state health authorities.

“Sufficient number of testing kits have already been provided to the state,” he said.

The additional director of the National Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme is camping in Assam since July 22.

According to the statement, the ministry has already sanctioned funds for establishment of three pediatric intensive care units (ICUs) in district hospitals in Sivasagar, Golaghat and Lakhimpur and the health minister has advised the state government to operationalise these ICUs immediately.

In all, 365 Japanese encephalitis positive cases and 66 deaths have been reported from Assam so far this year.

More deaths have been reported from the upper Assam districts of Sivasagar (9), Dibrugarh (7), Jorhat (7) and Golaghat (4).

During the review meeting, it was also learnt that the majority of the victims were adults.

Twelve districts of Assam, including Sivasagar, Dibrugarh, Jorhat and Golaghat have been covered under the adult vaccination campaign.

All the districts of the state have also been covered under the child (one to 15 years) vaccination campaign and routine immunization program.

(IANS)