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Women soon to get mobile health updates from ministry

The SMS service which will be launched with the name of Kilkari aims to provide regular updates about days of required medication to a pregnant woman. The flagship programme of Union Health Minister JP Nadda is expected to be rolled out in August this year.

While talking about the idea, the union minister said, “The scheme is going to be very effective in controlling the mortality rate as a pregnant woman will get alerts about period of vaccination. If a anyone skips the particular date, that woman will get alerts for that too.”

The ministry has decided to launch Kilkari plan after a successful completion of pilot projects in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. The pilot project in these states was conducted by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Though, purpose of Kilkari has similarities with other tracking programme called Mother Child Tracking System (MCTS), the ministry is presenting it as a totally new scheme.

Giving details about functioning of the scheme, CK Mishra, Additional Secretary, said, “There will be 78 short text messages those would be sent to a woman on her registered mobile Number. The messages will be delivered in six languages, which include four north Indian languages and two south Indian languages.”

“The programme is totally different from the MCTS as former plan is aimed at educating woman. It’s not that text messages would only be sent to pregnant women, it would be sent to girls in their adolescence too,” Mishra added, adding that the messages like updating three-month pregnant women to get a particular medicine or consultation service from a defined primary health care centre. However, the ministry is still brainstorming over preparing a fresh data bank. It’s also not yet clear whether ministry would utilise the data of 14 crore women registered under the MCTS or not.
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