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Indian Express
18 May 2010
By Jasneet Bindra
Chandigarh, India

Tracking Software ANMs to get mobile phones, reminders about date of check–up, vaccination of pregnant women, new mothers
For women of rural Punjab, SMS will soon mean ‘save mother service’. To take care of pregnant women and new mothers, the state health department has decided to give auxiliary nurse midwives (ANMs) tracking softwareenabled mobile phones, which will keep a check on their performance.

Under a Central government project, 4,500 ANMs will be provided mobile phones. On the days of check–up and vaccinations, the ANMs will be sent reminders, and their performance will be monitored through a software, which is being developed by National Resource Centre, a Centre appointed agency.

Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Satish Chandra said it is a Rs 1.5–crore project, in which Rs 200 per month will be given as user charges and Rs 2,700 will be spent on buying each handset.

Earlier, the ANMs compiled a monthly report and submit it at the block–level office, which was forwarded to the civil surgeon.“It was difficult to assess their performance in this process. The ANMs have now been given 35–odd parameters, which will be evaluated. Their reports will be uploaded on the website, so that even the Union Ministry officials can check their performance,” he added.

The project will start by the end of this month, he added. The resource centre has been told to complete the modalities by May 21, while training of the staff will start from next week, says Manisha Trighatia, NRHM Mission Director. She said Ropar has been chosen for the pilot project, which will be later replicated in the entire state.

The tracking software component will be incorporated in the Punjab NRHM website, which has recently introduced a system to keep a track of the number of OPDs and surgeries conducted by the doctors.

Chandra says each doctor’s name, telephone number and details of his daily work will be put up on the website

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