Tamper-proof trackers to detect ‘misuse’ of Ultrasound machines

Idea borrowed from Maharashtra.

With special focus on the declining sex ratio of the state, the state government, under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), has decided to introduce active trackers for Ultrasound Machines in ten earmarked districts from the next fiscal year. The proposals for these trackers is a part of the state's Project Implementation Plan (PIP) for the year 2013-14 which was given approval by Chief Secretary Jawed Usmani on Monday.

The chief secretary was chairing the governing body meeting of state health society of National Rural Health Mission of the state. He approved a proposal for Rs 6555.50 crore to be sent to the Government of India as PIP of NRHM for the year 2013-14. Of this, 75 per cent of the fund, Rs 4916.63 crore, will be granted by the GoI, while the remaining 25 per cent, Rs 1638 crore, will be contributed by the state.

The proposed budget is a 30 per cent increase from the current fiscal year's mission budget for Uttar Pradesh, as per the GoI norm. For the year 2012-13, the state had a resource envelope of Rs 4672.76 crore for the mission.

The active trackers — tamper-proof devices which record all the ultrasound machines on real time-basis enabled with GPRS to help authorities to immediately trace attempts of tampering — will help the state government in tracing ultrasound centres which are flouting Pre-Conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act by determining the sex of the foetus. The idea of trackers was borrowed from Maharashtra government's pilot project in Kolhapur district. The project was also a part of 2012-13 PIP of Uttar Pradesh but could not take off in the present year.

According to a press release issued by the Department of Information and Public Relation, apart from the trackers, the state government has also proposed 583 new mobile medical units, 186 new born units and 3245 new born care corners as well as 1,575 home-based new born care. In order to focus on the health care requirements of the tribal areas, the state has also proposed establishing tribal health posts in 17 earmarked districts of the state with a budget of Rs 1.02 crore.

For management of encephalitis in the state, the government has also proposed a budget of Rs 77.16 crore in the PIP which will include establishing paediatric intensive care units and counselling centre for 20 encephalitis-hit districts. The state PIP also proposes blood banks for 58 first referral units, for which a budget of Rs 1.58 crore has been estimated. Under the Ram Manohar Lohia Gram Vikas Yojana, establishing 428 new sub-centres with a budget of Rs 2.58 crore is also a part of the plan. Seeing the increase in institutional deliveries, the state has also proposed to construct a new 100-bed maternity wing in those high-focus districts with average bed occupancy rate of more than 60 per cent and non-high-focus districts, where the average bed occupancy rate is more than 70 per cent.

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