Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda on Friday launched a number of e-health initiatives, including 'Kilkari' that will provide information on child care through mobile phone. A family expecting the birth of a child can choose to obtain free audio messages on pregnancy, child birth and child care on its mobile phone from the second trimester of pregnancy until the child is one year old.
'Kilkari' was being launched in Jharkhand, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and high priority districts (HPDs) of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan in the first phase, the health ministry said.
Mr. Nadda also launched 'mobile academy', which is a free audio training course designed to expand and refresh the knowledge base of Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) and improve their communication skills.
'Mobile academy' allows ASHAs to upgrade their skills without the need to travel anywhere.
"These health services will be a game changer in health communications. They will bring us closer to people who need our services the most," said Nadda.
He said the services aimed to improve family health, including family planning, reproductive, maternal and child health, nutrition, sanitation and hygiene. Another facility launched on Friday is M-Cessation which will help those wanting to stop the use of tobacco. Mr. Nadda said the tobacco users would be helped through text messages sent on their mobile phones.
"This is the first time in the world that such a two-way service is being provided as part of any mobile health initiative," said Nadda.
A TB Missed Call initiative was also launched under which a helpline with a toll-free number will provide information, counselling and treatment support services for TB.
"Under this campaign the callers can give a missed call or call for free to get information related to TB symptoms, treatment services available, address and contact details of the nearest treatment facility etc.," said the minister.