HEALTH

Born in Saharsa, Bihar, the Continuum of Care Services (CCS) is a transformative intervention that has already impacted the lives of thousands of women, men and children in the state. Simple yet effective, it leverages the use of mobile phones and related technologies by the Frontline Health Workers (FLWs) to address current challenges to improve the health of women and children in a resource-poor setting.

Having created an evidenced based impact under the IFHI project, CCS was adopted, by the Ministry of Women & Child Development, who further developed upon the model, and now in its improved avatar, is known as the Common Application Software (CAS) being used to strengthen the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS).

Amidst the Prime Minister's 'Digital India' push, anganwadi centers across the country are set to use IT-enabled services to improve their performance with Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) and officials to be handed tablets and smartphones towards that end. Over 300,000 anganwadi centers in 162 districts identified as severely malnourished are set to undergo a strengthening and nutrition improvement project to be launched by the MoWCD with the help of World Bank.

Real-time monitoring of these centers will be done by strengthening them with IT-enabled services. The project will enable the ministry to monitor daily levels of nutrition and supplements being administered to the children. Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) and Sector Supervisors will be provided with smartphones and tablet devices to update data on child nutrition on a daily basis.

CCS has created a continuous and credible digital record of healthcare data, generated at the village level, and made it available to managers and decision makers in real time. This helps them to not only monitor progress but also to make informed program implementation-related decisions and provide supportive supervision for increasing reach, quality and timeliness of healthcare services.

CCS, by design, is integrated within the existing public system of health and nutrition-related service delivery. Through training and direct hands-on support, FLWs have found it simple to use and easy to operationalize. This is evident from high levels of its acceptance by the FLWs and their supervisors.

Bihar’s CCS, in its current advanced form, will be used by more developed states like Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh etc. And, all this was possible, because Bihar showed the way by embracing technology at the grassroots level! Unknown to the country at large, Bihar’s ICT-CCS intervention has been recognized in international forums, having received the mHealth Alliance Collaboration Award at the Global mHealth Summit at Washington DC, USA.

Posted By : Amitava Banerjee
Location : Bihar