Govt scheme to track expectant mothers, newborns

Last Updated: Sunday, September 18, 2011 - 16:33

New Delhi: The government will now track down expectant mothers and newborns across the country to know the status of their immunisation under the recently-launched Mother and Child Tracking scheme.

The Health Ministry will appoint a panel of doctors in its Central Monitoring Cell within the scheme, which seeks to track down every single pregnant woman and newborn for progress on vaccination.

It will help the Government to know whether the claims which a state government makes about achievement under the National Immunisation Programme are correct or not.

So far, the Ministry`s help desk, which is part of the central monitoring mechanism under the scheme, has received state-wide data pertaining to 80 lakh mothers and 30 lakh newborns, who have already been registered across the country.

Though this comprises just 27 per cent of total estimated 293.28 lakh pregnant women annually and only 12 percent of the estimated 253.21 lakh newborns a year in the country, the government has decided to monitor whatever database is available.

Doctors will be attached with the central cell for free advice to pregnant women, especially in case of high-risk pregnancies and low-birth weight infants, and will monitor medical progress of the beneficiaries over phone.

Special Secretary, Health, P K Pradhan told a news agency that corrective measures are required to be taken on such mothers who have high-risk pregnancies and whose haemoglobin is very low, besides those children who have low birth weight (below 2.5 kg) and are susceptible to disease, for which the database will be of immense help.

Pradhan said the database would even be used to detect and check tuberculosis among mothers who are expecting as well as those who have delivered.

"Our aim is to improve the success rate in tuberculosis to over 95 percent after tracking the mothers and children," he said, adding that the tracking scheme would help reduce the
Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR).

In another major development which will help the government focus on problem areas, the Health Ministry has identified 204 vulnerable districts in nine states in the country where immunisation coverage is less than 50 percent.

"We will now not only focus on specific districts but also blocks in each of those districts where health parametres are poor. The aim is to use the database to improve the response system and seek targeted intervention," Pradhan said.

PTI




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