In an innovative programme, the Bihar government is planning to provide dedicated mobile phones to two lakh frontline health workers to improve maternal and child health in the state.
To begin with, the government would provide mobile sets to 17000 ANMs by the turn of the current year, said executive director of the state health society (SHS) Sanjay Kumar.
Jointly briefing the press along with the representatives of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the BBC Media Action here, he said that the government would make available phones to the rest of the community health workers including ASHA and Anganwadi workers in phases.
Using the technology, we can build the capacity of frontline workers and also take health and nutrition facilities to the masses at the grassroots level, he avered.
Priyanka Dutt of the BBC Media Action (India) said, her organisation had developed Mobile Kunji and Mobile Academy as tools to reach diverse audiences.
They are the tools for information dissemination, easily accessible on any mobile handset,h she informed, adding, that they were being rolled out for the two lakh community health workers across the state.
While Mobile Kunji is a deck of 40 illustrated cards that communicates life saving health messages to rural families, the Mobile Academy is an audio training course for the health workers, which are designed to refresh their knowledge on life-saving health behaviours, delivered via mobile phones,h she said.
Priyanka said, the BBC Media Action was already using the tools in eight Bihar districts with excellent results.
Other speakers included social welfare secretary R Punhani and senior programme officer of the BMGF Anand Sinha.