Prof. S P Singh Baghel and Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar, Union Ministers of State for Health and Family Welfare, virtually inaugurated the Kilkari programme, a Mobile Health (m-health) initiative tailored for beneficiaries in Gujarat and Maharashtra.
The launch event, also attended by Shri Rushikesh Patel, Health Minister of Gujarat, saw the introduction of the Mobile Academy, a complimentary audio training course aimed at enhancing the knowledge and communication skills of Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs).
Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar commended the launch of the m-health initiative as a testament to the rapid transformation of India's healthcare sector, aligning with the vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, for a Digital Health India. She emphasized the significance of leveraging technology to benefit humanity, expressing her enthusiasm for the initiative's potential impact.
The Kilkari Programme, as highlighted by Prof. S P Singh Baghel, signifies the government's commitment to prioritizing public health infrastructure and fortifying citizen-centric health services by capitalizing on India's burgeoning mobile phone penetration. Prof. Baghel stressed the importance of maternal health, echoing the government's dedication to ensuring the well-being of women under the leadership of the Hon’ble Prime Minister.
Both Union Ministers applauded the frontline health workers for their pivotal role in implementing the ‘Kilkari’ Programme, designed to deliver weekly audio messages addressing reproductive, maternal, neonatal, and child health care. They underscored the program's objective of providing timely, accurate, and relevant information to targeted beneficiaries.
Rushikesh Patel expressed gratitude to the Union Government for the launch of these initiatives, highlighting the significant increase in institutional deliveries in Gujarat, which ensures safer childbirth experiences for mothers and children.
The Kilkari programme, meaning 'a baby's gurgle,' utilizes centralized interactive voice response (IVR) technology to deliver 72 pre-recorded audio messages about pregnancy, childbirth, and childcare directly to families' mobile phones. These messages, voiced by a fictitious character named Dr. Anita, aim to educate and empower pregnant women and mothers with infants under one year old.
Notably, the Kilkari Programme is hosted centrally by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) for all states and union territories, eliminating additional technology or operational costs for states and beneficiaries. Similarly, the Mobile Academy offers ASHAs cost-effective and efficient audio training via mobile phones, enhancing their capacity to provide quality healthcare services.
Currently operational in 18 states and union territories, the Kilkari Programme and Mobile Academy signify significant strides towards improving maternal and child healthcare across India. With their widespread adoption and integration into the healthcare system, these initiatives hold promise for advancing public health outcomes and ensuring the well-being of communities nationwide.