Ritu Maheshwari (IAS), District Magistrate, Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India, speaks about the healthcare initiatives her department has undertaken
Health is a very crucial parameter of human development. If we look at the various indicators like IMR, MMR, full immunisation and deliveries or the registration of births, we find that we are way behind the Millenniums Development Goal. Another issue as far as healthcare deliveries in India is concerned is that, healthcare is being developed in a rather supply based approach, and this leaves very small amount of room for feedback mechanism.
The project we have conceived is called Aarogyam and we designed the project keeping in mind the healthcare needs of the country. Aarogyam is basically an individual digital health mapping system; it is a two way demand based ecosystem based on the feedback and the needs of the common man. The project seeks to empower citizen, by taking into account their healthcare needs and providing them with the necessary information.
Basically we conduct health mapping survey for different districts. We involve various departments and the survey we conduct are on different parameters like the name of the stakeholder, the age, date of child delivery, phone number, the region where the person is located. All the data is uploaded on the central server. The central server is connected to an automatic Interactive Voice Response (IVR).
Now coming to what the project actually offers; it is basically Health Mapping and Pregnancy Tracking System, which tracks the health status of a lady from the time she become pregnant till the baby is delivered and further on till the baby gets fully immunised. It is the first outbound IVR system which disseminates personalise information to every family with respect to both mother and children for all kind of vaccines wheather BCG, DPT or JSY, telling the stakeholder that when the delivery is due etc. We inform the entire stakeholder free of cost and we send specific information before due dates.
Secondly it also has a dial in number where anyone can dial it and specifically retrieve the information as to when is a particular health service is due for him, how to get it done etc. Thirdly it also has an inbuilt complaint mechanism. The complains are recorded and automatically forwarded to those people who have to address these complains.
The most important part is the regular pendency calls that we send to all the families, to the pradhan and to the ANMs. So basically it is very a powerful medium. We started the project basically in two districts of UP and now it is running in many other districts of UP. So once the phone numbers of different beneficiaries are collected, we have a database and many Government schemes whether health or it be sanitation or it be voter id registration they can be linked through this data base and the ultimate purpose of disseminating information is served too.
With the help of this system, different Government bodies too can check information related to different schemes before due dates of different beneficiaries. It also has web based monitoring portal where we can login and administration can login and see what is the status in a particular village and in other medical office area. Can check what the target was, what has been achieved what has been left out etc.
Generally when health service provider goes to the field they are not really aware of what their duties are and what they have to do. The basic problem was that all information was based on the statistics but now they have data of a ground level survey consisting what the need is.