Pankaj Kumar, IAS
(Executive Director)

SIFPSA The role of Frontline Health Workers (FHWs) is critical in achievement of the objectives of any health programme. While FLWs have demonstrated the potential to substantially improve the maternal and child health indicators, they face several challenges on day-to-day basis. The effectiveness of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) approaches in health sector is growing.

The research evidence is strong that community based approaches to pregnancy tracking and postnatal home visits have an impact on neonatal outcomes. The Mother and Child Tracking System (MCTS), an e-governance initiative launched by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India in December 2009, presents an immense opportunity to improve MNCH service delivery in the state.

MCTS has been rolled out across the state of Uttar Pradesh to provide decision makers and program managers with timely data for program monitoring and micro planning. Although, there are some gaps that need to be addressed to realize the potential of MCTS. These includes sub-optimal pace of data entry, lack of efficient data entry system, overburdening of health workers with multiple records and data collection formats and duplication of efforts to collect and record data. The delayed data updating restricts the use of the work plans generated for ANMs and use of data by supervisors for monitoring and decisionmaking.

The mSehat scheme has been developed to empower the FLWs by providing smart-phones with customized apps that will capture the complete RMNCH+A continuum of care services. The software will auto-generate the work-plans and will give alerts to the service provider as well as the registered beneficiary. The FLWs will be provided on-demand training and regular skill updates.

There is a provision of mobile phone based multimedia job-aid for beneficiary counseling, registration, tracking, reporting, screening and referral. In due course of time, mSehat aspires to interact with the MCTS and RCH e-governance schemes of GoI which will help in real-time data update.

mSehat scheme is one of the world's largest smart-phone based health service delivery support system addressing the continuum of care approach. I hope that this SIFPSA initiative will open new horizons in use of ICT for achieving the sustainable development goals. I wish all success to mSehat.