New Delhi: Over 6.4 crore calls to provide information about pregnancy, child birth and child care have been made via interactive voice response (IVR) under the Kilkari scheme till November since April this year, the Parliament was told on Tuesday (December 19). Presenting data in the Rajya Sabha, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday (December 19) said that 7.71 crore calls to provide audio messages were made in 2022-23, while 4.75 crore calls were made in 2021-22. Responding to a question, Mr Mandaviya said,
The Kilkari programme is a mobile-based free service launched on January 15, 2016 as a part of the health ministry’s Digital India initiative for new and expectant mothers aimed at encouraging them to make healthier choices for their new-born care by providing information about pregnancy, child birth and child care directly to the beneficiaries.
It is an audio-based service, and hence, overcomes the literacy challenges of rural India.
The messaging begins in the second trimester of pregnancy and continues until the child is one year old. The pregnant mothers’ data is fetched from the RCH portal to Kilkari through web service, Mr Mandaviya stated.
The programme informs mothers and families about behaviours and practices to be adopted during pregnancy and infancy.
The weekly messages help families to educate, remind and also reinforce the prioritised actions for each week during this period. This action not only saves the lives of pregnant women and children from several risks, but also ensures that the child born is healthy, the minister said.
The Kilkari project serves 18 states and Union Territories, namely, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Chandigarh, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir, Tripura, Andhra Pradesh and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Mr Mandaviya stated,
The calls have been helpful to mothers and families in all states due to its uniqueness in nature. The information provided through audio messages are helpful in terms of ante and postnatal care as well as nutrition.
The messages were helpful in giving timely information to beneficiaries about the appropriate health care services to be sought. Kilkari complemented the work of ASHAs in mobilising beneficiaries to access health services and reduce the burden on them, the minister said.
Continued Kilkari support to families has led to changes in behaviours and has also improved service utilisation. It also proved useful during the pandemic when it was difficult to hold physical visits and awareness campaigns, Mr Mandaviya stated.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which in its Season 10 is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Ayushmann Khurrana. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In a world post COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental well-being, self-care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.