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Expanding Horizons: The Kilkari Programme Empowering Maternal and Child Health Across India

The Kilkari programme, introduced on January 15, 2016, as part of the Digital India initiative, targets new and expectant mothers to promote healthier choices for newborn care. Utilising mobile technology, this audio-based service delivers messages directly to beneficiaries, bypassing the literacy challenges prevalent in rural areas.

Operated through Interactive Voice Response (IVR), Kilkari offers free, weekly, and time-appropriate audio messages covering pregnancy, childbirth, and childcare. These messages, starting from the second trimester of pregnancy and continuing until the child turns one year old, are tailored to educate and inform mothers and families about crucial behaviours and practices during this critical period.

By accessing data from the Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) portal, Kilkari ensures that pregnant women receive personalised messaging. This proactive approach not only aids in saving lives but also contributes to ensuring healthier outcomes for both mothers and children.

Currently active in 18 states and union territories, including Assam, Bihar, and Delhi, among others, Kilkari recently expanded its reach to Maharashtra and Gujarat on February 7, 2024. This expansion underscores the programme's commitment to reaching more beneficiaries and enhancing maternal and child healthcare across the country.

Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar, the Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, shared this information in a written response in the Lok Sabha, highlighting the government's dedication to leveraging technology for the betterment of maternal and child health.

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