Home Essay/Articles ARTICLE : Caring for the mother and child: Health Ministry makes innovative use of technology to provide ante-natal and post-natal care
ARTICLE : Caring for the mother and child: Health Ministry makes innovative use of technology to provide ante-natal and post-natal care
Wednesday, 28 January 2015 05:26


The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has been making innovative use of technology to reach out to the mother and child for effective delivery of health services under the National Health Mission.

Mother and Child Tracking System (MCTS)

The Health Ministry has introduced web-based name based tracking system called Mother & Child Tracking System (MCTS) across all the States and UTs in 2010 to facilitate timely delivery of antenatal and postnatal care services to all the pregnant women and immunization to all the children. The system captures personal details such as name, address, mobile number etc., of every pregnant woman and child up to five years of age. A total of over 14 crore pregnant women and children, besides 2.24 lakh Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANMs) and 9.31 Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) have been registered in MCTS till now. The MCTS aims to ensure that every pregnant woman gets complete and quality antenatal and postnatal care, and every child receives the full range of immunization services. Under MCTS, appropriate health promotion messages to beneficiaries that are relevant according to the month of pregnancy or date of birth of the child are being sent on mobiles of beneficiaries.

Unstructured Supplementary Services Data (USSD) based solution has been introduced for real time updation of MCTS database by ANMs using their existing mobile phones. Efforts are being made to develop tablet based applications which will allow health workers to register and update service delivery information from tablets, resulting in timely registration and updation of information and better micro-planning. Integration with Aadhaar is being planned for unique identification and generation of records. A self-registration web portal is also expected to enable the beneficiaries to maintain and see the details of ANC, PNC, etc., related to them.

Mother and Child Tracking Facilitation Centre (MCTFC):

In addition, the Health Ministry has set up the Mother and Child Tracking Facilitation Centre (MCTFC) at the National Institute of Health and Family Welfare (NHFW). It is major step taken by Government of India under the National Health Mission in improving the maternal and child health care services.

The MCTFC has 86 seats and it is designed to:

I. Provide a supporting framework to MCTS and help in validating the date entered in MCTS by making phone calls to pregnant women and parents of children and health workers;

II. Be a powerful tool in preceding relevant information and guidance directly to the pregnant women, parents of children and to community health workers, thus creating awareness among them about health services and promoting right health practices and behaviour;

III. Contact the service providers and recipients of mother and child care services to get their feedback on various mother and child care services, programmes and initiatives like JSSK, JSY, RBSK, National Iron Plus Initiative (NIPI), contraceptive distribution by ASHAs etc. This feedback would help the Government of India and the state governments to easily and quickly evaluate the programme interventions, and plan appropriate corrective measures to improve the health service delivery;

IV.  Check with ASHAs and ANMs regarding availability of essential drugs and supplies like ORS packets and contraceptives.


The IVRS based application called Kilkari is being piloted under which audio messages on maternal and child health care are being sent to pregnant women and parents of children. A series of 18 health promotion and awareness generation messages for pregnant women and parents of infants which have been specially customised for each stage of pregnancy and the age of infant have been professionally recorded in simple Hindi dialect and would be disseminated as audio messages through mobiles to lakhs of pregnant women and parents of infants particularly those residing in high priority districts of high focus States. Another IVRS based application called Mobile Academy had been tested for training of ASHAs and ANMs. These applications are proposed to be nationally rolled out by 15th August, 2015 to increase awareness and improve the health-seeking behavior of pregnant women, parents of infants and to provide training to the health workers.






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