Vajpayee’s Birthday Gift: Govt to Launch Health Schemes


New Delhi: The health ministry is set to launch three schemes to mark the birthday of the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The three schemes, driven by information technology initiatives, are focused on maternal care, tuberculosis treatment and tobacco control measures.

The first scheme, Kilkari, will entail reaching out to pregnant women particularly in rural areas and providing them with health tips as well as alerts on routine treatments, check ups as well as tips on nutritional diet and supplements. The programme was already run on a pilot basis in Bihar and the ministry is now extending it to six new sates. Under the programme, 72 audio messages will be sent to pregnant women through phone.

The second scheme is a tobacco control programme that would be implemented through missed calls. People consuming any tobacco product and wanting to quit can leave a missed call to register themselves with the government. Following this, a healthcare worker will get in touch with the person and guide or help with proper medication and counselling to quit tobacco.

“There are many people who want to quit tobacco use but are unable to do so for some reason. Through this programme, the government will also assist such people to address any health related problems they have which is related to tobacco consumption,” an official said.

The ministry also is planning tuberculosis detection programme which will help suspected patients in proper diagnosis of the disease as well locate a nearest treatment centre will the entire gamut of services required for treatment.

Last year, the ministry had launched the awareness campaign for its flagship immunization programme Mission Indradhanush on December 25, the birthday of Vajpayee. So far, more than 75.5 lakh children have been immunized and almost 20 lakh children are fully immunized under the programme.