Shimla: With a birth rate of just 1.9 and a skewed sex ratio, health administrators are a worried lot and have readied a mother tracking system for keeping pregnant women on watch so as to prevent female feticide.
Speaking to the media health minister, Rajeev Bindal disclosed that a pilot under which female health workers after visiting a pregnant women, reported back data collected through mobile phones had been successfully tested.
â€œThe mother tracking scheme would formally be launched by Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal from Dharamshala on 18th December,â€ he said.
Without disclosing any numbers, Bindal said that the government awareness program against female feticide â€˜Beti hai anmolâ€™ had shown improvement in blocks where the sex ratio had dropped drastically.
With the health of mobiles phones provided to health workers, we expect to collect all data about to be mothers and disseminate information to the target group that would help to check female feticide. For a start the mobile tracking system would be introduced in 6 districts, he added.
Institutional deliveries which was only 51 % in 2007 has scaled up to 70 % and what more whereas the scales for institutional deliveries in other states are heavily tilted in favour of private hospitals, in Himachal as high as 85 percent of all institutional deliveriesâ€™ are done in government hospitals, said Bindal.
Speaking about out health initiatives in 4 years, the minister said that the free ambulance service started a year ago till Monday helped over 90 thousand patients get to hospital in time.
The patients who were carried by the free ambulance service included 18,188 pregnant women of which 527 deliveries were done in the ambulances itself, 442 snake bite cases and 5654 accident victims.
Under a preventive health program started in January 2008, a screening for leprosy infections came up with 80 new patients who have been given timely treatment.
Under an AIDS detection program, over 35 thousand pregnant women have voluntary undergone a screening test, he said.