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Efforts to digitally educate 6 lakh ASHA workers: Ravishankar

Press Trust of India  |  Patna 

Centre is working to make around 6 lakh 'ASHA' workers digitally educated and well connected for better healthcare of mother and new born children, Union Information Technology minister Ravishankar Prasad said today.

Digitally educated ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) workers through better connectivity would be told to keep track of health of mother and new born child by reminding them of nutritional food intake and protection against diseases like anemia, Prasad said at a function of Gynaecologists.

The Union IT minister said as part of "Digital India" programme efforts were being made to digitally link around 2.50 lakh gram panchayats across the country for better health care among others.

Under "India Newborn Action Plan (INAP)," launched in September this year, ASHA workers have been told to track mothers who have delivered new children in their surrounding and keep a chart of them and provide them timely suggestion about health care and nutritional needs, he said.

He said there are 90 crore mobiles in the country at present which could be effectively used for efficient and faster delivery of information in health sector.

The function "BOGSCON-2014" is organised by Patna Obstetric and Gynaecological society.

Prasad lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi for innovative programme for mother and new born child in Gujarat when he was Chief Minister there.

He said as part of the programme, all hospitals were directed to transport a pregnant mother in Ambulance as soon as information is given. And after delivery, the state government provided nutritional food for two months for the mother and new born child.

Such programme should be spread elsewhere too, he said.

The IT minister said the country is short of around 4 lakh doctors at present and in such a condition digital technology would help in upkeep of effective health care through faster dissemination of health care information.

Prasad expressed worry over male-female ratio in the country and emphasised on strict check on female infanticide.

The male-female rate disparity was creating serious sociological problem, he said and gave example of Haryana where families have to bring brides from as far as Kerala.

Acting Chief Justice of Patna High Court Iqbal Ahmad Ansari also spoke on the occasion.

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First Published: Sat, December 20 2014. 22:20 IST