Low Birth weight babies and Weak new born tracking from Hospital to community using mobile technology
Babies born with low birth weights have a less chance of surviving the 28 day neonatal period. They succumb to problems like hypoglycemia, sepsis, prematurity, respiratory distress etc. Children that are born in the moderate or late period of gestation can be safely managed at home provided special care and support is given to them.
About 80 % of such babies can be saved by taking simple precautionary measures at the Hospitals and community level using simple Kangaroo mother care, keeping the baby warm, early and exclusive breastfeeding. Almost 39% of Low birth weight is caused due undernourishment happens during pregnancy.
The Mobile based ICT tools can help tracking LBW and Weak new born from hospital to community, tracking and management of SAM children services and referral services.
Interventions required for reducing LBW:-
• Iron and folic acid supplementation along with deworming among adolescent girls.
• Prevent pre-eclampsia among pregnant
• Promote adequate food and nutrient intake during pregnancy to achieve a minimum weight gain of 10-12 kg
New born and up to 24 months:-
• Early and exclusive breastfeeding
• Timely introduction of safe, nutritious and hygienic complementary foods for children 6-24 months
• Feeding for children during and after illness, diarrhoea management and management of Severely Affected Malnutrition (SAM) children.
In studies conducted studies in Bangladesh, where the country implemented a large behaviour change programme targeting malnutrition, revealed a dramatic and positive shifts in nutrition indicators such as exclusive breastfeeding, low birth weight and wasting (Nicholas et.al 2017)
In India about 53% defecates in the open, recent research has demonstrated a quantitatively important rise between child stunting and sanitation that can perhaps tell reason for excess stunting in India (Chambers and Medeazza 2013).
Direct cash transfer scheme and mobile based/ geotag tracking
The Aanganwadi centers (AWC) preschool are not able to reach right beneficiaries and not able to tackle malnutrition issuebecause many needy families are left out and they don’t get services form AWC. Therefore, direct Cash transfers (DCT), could possibly be more effective in effective reduction in mother and child malnutrition. Leveraging ICT or Geotag technology totrack exact beneficiary is possible, to know whether services reaching the right beneficiaries. In Bihar direct cash transfer was tested and findings are encouraging, with 27% fewer children wasted, 14% less children underweight, 19% less mothers underweight. The learnings from Pakistan, Mozambique and Ethiopia is also showing similar results.
in Bihar retrospective and prospective study done on newborn survival and babies were tracked from Phc to village using Unicode sms, follow up by Asha, AWW and ANM could help increase baby survival by simple kangaroo care, keeping baby warm, early and exclusive breatfeeding and immunisation.Using chi square method it was evident that upto 50% babies could be saved with basic newborn care.
By Abhijeet P Sinha