As many as 74,639 children in the State were identified as severely malnourished during health check-up camps conducted by the Health and Family Welfare department in July-August this year. The department has, however, no record to indicate the status of any of these children.
To rectify this major flaw and to bring about accountability among the medical staff of the primary health centres (PHCs) and the nutritional rehabilitation centres (NRCs), the department is in the process of evolving a web-based application, which will help track and monitor the progress of children identified under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) programme.
According to Anjum Parvez, Commissioner of Health, the National Informatics Centre (NIC) is in the final stages of developing this application.
“Presently, there is no system to measure the output and the system to monitor child health is ad hoc. There is no continuity in the treatment. There is only a presumption that the field officers are committed and it has become inevitable to bring in such interventions to make them more proactive,” he said.
Parvez said the new system would create a data depository and ensure that the children have access to proper nutrition. The health camps, which are being conducted once every three months, will henceforth be conducted once a month. The next heath camp is scheduled for October.
Ziaulla, chief planning officer, Karnataka Health System Development and Reforms Project, said the doctors and medical staff at the PHCs, taluk and district hospitals would be given login IDs, and they would be required to update the new registries as per the data entry format. Every child will be given a unique ID number.
“In case of migration, the parents can use the ID number in the PHCs or nutrition centres elsewhere in the State. The child’s case history will be readily available online, helping in future treatment,” he said.
He said the application would become functional in two to three months. The department is developing the application along with the Women and Child Development department, which is presently corroborating the list of all anganwadi centres in the State.
The department, however, has not appointed medical staff to 16 NRCs for the past one year. Each of these 10-bed NRCs requires four staff nurses, one diet counselor, a cook and an attender, apart from a medical officer to assist the pediatrician. The recruitment process will be finalised by next week, sources said.