Wednesday September 19, 2018
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Health Ministry sets up web portal and mobile apps to provide healthcare related information

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New Delhi: With the Modi government’s thrust on a digital India, the Union Health Ministry is trying to devise interactive web portals and mobile apps for most of its flagship programmes like immunisation drives and mother and child care.

Officials in the Health Ministry said that Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda has asked for the digitisation of almost all services being provided by the government in the sector.

The ministry has set up a web portal in pursuance to the decisions of the National Knowledge Commission, to provide healthcare related information to the citizens of India.

The National Health Portal (www.nhp.gov.in) was launched by Nadda in Shimla last week.

“A special Centre for Health Informatics has been established by the National Institute of Health and Family Welfare (NIHFW) for managing the activities of the portal”, Rakesh Kumar, joint secretary in the Health Ministry, told IANS.

“The portal aims to make this a single point access for authenticated health information for citizens, students, healthcare professionals and researchers,” Kumar said.

It will collect, verify and disseminate health and health care delivery services related information for all citizens of India.

Listing other such initiatives, Kumar said that nearly 50 percent of the 565 Special Newborn Care Units (SNCU) established across the country have been brought on an online platform.

“Our aim is to make 100 percent of these special units covered in the online system,” he said.

The ministry has also launched a mobile application for its mass immunisation drive which is called ‘Mission Indradhanush’.

“Under this, field workers would be required to fill up all details of vaccinations of children, who have been covered or are yet to be covered. Managers would then pass on the information to the state governments which will in turn pass on the information to the central government,” he said.

Apart from this, the government will soon begin a service which would inform citizens about due vaccinations and check-ups of newborns and pregnant women.

A simple mobile phone text message would tell a parent that their children are due for vaccinations or even remind an expecting mother that she has completed six months of her pregnancy and needs to go for a scheduled check-up.

All this would be a part of the health ministry’s new ‘Kilkari’ scheme on mother and childcare in August.

For pregnant women, messages would include reminders about routine check-ups, blood tests, tetanus vaccinations and a host of other things. The government also plans to expand the scheme to include adolescent girls in the future.

In the beginning, messages would be sent in six languages — four north Indian and two south Indian. Later, more languages can be added as the programme expands.

A total of 78 specific messages have been identified as of now and more will be added.

All stakeholders — like doctors, midwives, state health officials and service providers — are in the loop and technical issues are being worked out.

Kumar said the ministry was also planning to go online with the Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK).

The RBSK aims at early identification and intervention for children from birth to 18 years to cover four ‘D’s — defects at birth, deficiencies, diseases, development delays, including disability.

“All information relating to this initiative will also be available online soon for better tracking,” the official added. (IANS)

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Twitter India steps in to bridge blood donation gap

Twitter said it will also amplify the real-time communication efforts of the handle with verification, promotion on Twitter, and use Twitter Lite to connect the helpline with people across the entire country

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  • Twitter starts a new initiative #BloodMatters
  • This initiative is to create more awareness blood donation and its need in India
  • The step is being applauded and supported by the government as well

Aiming to create more awareness and bridge the demand-supply gap for blood units in India, Twitter India on Tuesday launched a new social initiative called #BloodMatters.

According to a report by the World Health Organisation, only nine million blood units are available annually in India, against a demand of 12 million units. Blood Donors India (@BloodDonorsIN), a voluntary blood donation helpline on Twitter, is the first partner for the Twitter initiative. Through this initiative, Twitter said it seeks to work with more blood donation helplines like @BloodDonorsIN, blood banks, and health institutions across the country to connect and reach a larger audience.

Twitter has launched three types of APIs to facilitate this.
This step will help bridge the blood donation gap in India.

“The platform aims to scale up the volume of blood donation conversation in India, the number of donors, and work with partners that can ensure safe, screened blood can reach those in need in time across India,” Twitter India said in a statement.

With this initiative, people can request for blood donation simply with a tweet to @BloodDonorsIN with their location hashtag, blood type, mobile contact and Twitter handle. People interested to help can follow @BloodDonorsIN and respond or retweet requests for help.

Responding to the initiative in a tweet, Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda said: “I am happy to see Twitter take up this cause to strengthen the overall health and well-being of the country with the #BloodMatters initiative. This will play a powerful role in mobilising resources and strengthening the blood donation drive in India.”

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This will benefit several people and is also supported by the government. Pixabay

With the new initiative, launched ahead of its 12th birth anniversary on Wednesday, Twitter is expanding the reach of the @BloodDonorsIN helpline through Twitter Lite, which provides more data-friendly access to real-time information exchange on blood donations across India.

Twitter will be supporting the implementation of an automated response solution to scale the operations of @BloodDonorsIN, currently run by a group of volunteers.

Twitter said it will also amplify the real-time communication efforts of the handle with verification, promotion on Twitter, and use Twitter Lite to connect the helpline with people across the entire country, from the metros to rural India.

There is a lot of gap between blood demand and supply in India. Pixabay

“Giving back has been a priority for Twitter since its inception and we believe the open exchange of information can be a compelling force for good in the world. #BloodMatters is a step in that direction,” Mahima Kaul, Head Public Policy, Twitter India, said in a statement.

“We are humbled to kickstart the initiative with @BloodDonorsIN, a handle that symbolises our mission of positively impacting the world by harnessing the real-time power of Twitter and hope to make a larger impact by extending its reach through Twitter Lite,” Kaul added. IANS