Panaji, India, Sept, 2023 - In a bid to reduce infant and maternal mortality, the state health department and Emergency Management and Research Institute (EMRI) Green Health Services will guide pregnant women over the phone for the first 1,000 days, right from their first hospital visit and till their child turns two years.
The early child development (ECD) call centre that was inaugurated earlier this week will follow up on the health of pregnant women and the growth and development of newborn children. It will also advise women on nutrition and vaccination, and remind them about scheduled hospital visits.
Since the call centre cannot receive calls, any woman in distress can call the health helpline, 104 or 108, in case of emergencies.
To begin with, the directorate of health services has decided to focus on high-risk pregnancies, mothers with severe anaemia, and sick and preterm infants. A list of people falling in these categories will be regularly shared with the call centre by all government healthcare facilities. Representatives of the former will then call up the women and check on them and their babies.
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"Once babies in the NICU are discharged, the ECD call centre will phone mothers to check on the health of their babies," said chief medical officer of the State Family Welfare Bureau, Dr Uttam Desai. "Sometimes, a pregnant woman has high blood pressure, diabetes, hormonal imbalances, or previous C-sections which become high-risk pregnancies. Through the ECD, the women will be advised on nutrition, health check-ups required and all antenatal care to ensure that she delivers a healthy baby."
Of 18,000-odd live births recorded in the state annually, around 10-15 per cent are high risk, he added.
"Once the woman delivers, we will guide her to identify growth milestones of her child. This will help in early identification of any abnormalities," an EMRI Green Health Services official told TOI. "If an abnormality is spotted, we will advise them to go to the nearest hospital."
The facility will be useful to pregnant mothers, particular when they are unsure of what to eat or where to go for help. "We hope to guide them on all aspects to be able to decrease infant and maternal mortality," Desai said.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
About GVK-EMRI Emergency Response Center:
PROVIDE HEALTHCARE FACILITIES TO THE ENTIRE STATE OF UTTARAKHAND IN INDIA. WE WORK ON THE SAME PRINCIPLE AS 911
Published: Monday, September 11, 2023
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