Monday October 22, 2018

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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India’s Digital Health Resolution Adopted by WHO

The 71st World Health Assembly was held last week in Geneva and was attended by delegations from all WHO member states.

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The 71st World Health Assembly was held last week in Geneva and was attended by delegations from all WHO member states.
Health and Family Welfare Minister J.P. Nadda . Wikimedia Commons

Health and Family Welfare Minister J.P. Nadda on Tuesday said the resolution on digital health brought out by India was adopted by the 71st World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO).

“I’m happy to share that the landmark resolution on #DigitalHealth – initiated by India – was unanimously adopted by the 71st World Health Assembly in Geneva. India received widespread praise for its leadership on this forward looking agenda,” Nadda said in a tweet.

The 71st World Health Assembly was held last week in Geneva and was attended by delegations from all WHO member states.

In his address at the Assembly, Nadda said: “Digital health technology have a huge potential for supporting Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and improving accessibility, quality and affordability of health services. This is a resolution which should be owned by all of us so as to pave the path for a forward looking global health agenda.”

The resolution paves the path for WHO to establish a global strategy on digital health identifying priority areas including where WHO should focus its efforts and engages member states to optimize their health systems in sync with the global digital health agenda.

Introducing the resolution on digital health at the assembly on behalf of India and 20 cosponsors, Joint Secretary (International Health) Lav Agarwal last week said: “Digital health is important in the context of countries achieving health-related SDG targets as well WHO’s implementation of 13th General Program of Work. Digital health agenda is multisectoral and cross cutting in nature.

The 71st World Health Assembly was held last week in Geneva and was attended by delegations from all WHO member states.
WHO Flag, Wikimedia commons

“This resolution is about digitally empowering member states, WHO, health providers and above all the patients … We all need to embark on a journey from a Digital Health Resolution towards a Digital Health Movement.”

The resolution is the first step towards mainstreaming digital interventions in health including big data and its analytics, use of deep machine learning, artificial intelligence, internet of things and other emerging disciplines like genomics.

Nadda had also indicated that India was planning to host a Global Digital Health Summit in near future with the support of WHO and hoped it would contribute to WHO’s efforts to come up with a comprehensive global health strategy on digital health.

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In February, at the Global Digital Health Partnership Summit at Canberra in Australia, Nadda had said India is committed to reforms in health services delivery using Information and Communication Technology and it will take advantage of the Digital India programme.

Nadda had stressed on the importance of building digital health ecosystem partnerships with private healthcare providers, academia, health IT practitioners, industry, patient groups and regulatory bodies. He had also said India was planning to create an integrated digital health platform and enable creation of electronic health records for the 1.3 billion people of India. (IANS)