The Uttarakhand health department is to use real-time tracking methods to boost immunisation levels of children following the National Family Health Survey-4 report indicating a decline in immunisation rates in the state.
To be launched on a pilot basis in Haridwar district, which has one of the highest floating/migratory population in the hill state, the success of this initiative there will determine whether the real-time tracking will be replicated in other districts as well.
As per National Family Health Survey-4, the extent of immunisation of children aged between 12 and 23 months was over 60 per cent in 2005-06, which fell to 57.7 per cent in 2015-16, The Hindustan Times reported.
“Under the system, which is being launched for the first time, five ANMs (health workers) will send day-to-day updates of immunisation done by them to a designated nodal officer through WhatsApp (mobile messenger), who will further relay the compiled report to the block level officer,” Dr DK Chakrapani, the state immunisation officer, was quoted as saying.
“He will then forward the reports to the district immunisation officer who will in turn send the aggregate reports of the district to the state-level officials,” Chakrapani said.
The system will help in ensuring quick data transmission and transparency in the existing Health Management Information System database, under which immunisation details are updated using registers submitted manually by the health workers – which at times takes several days to be updated.
“We will be able to keep a close eye on progress of the immunisation programme, identify gaps in the process and cover the left-out children in a sustained, timely manner. The real-time updates will also be verified with the manual registers on a monthly basis to ensure that there is no discrepancy in data,” he said.