For fifty-three-year-old V. Dhanalakshmi, an Urban Health Nurse attached to Narimedu Urban Health Post, manually maintaining records of the patients’ health status was cumbersome and time-consuming. Now with the Madurai Corporation providing laptops for the job, she feels the tool would help save a lot of time.

“Earlier, we had to maintain nearly 15 registers containing the health chart of each pregnant woman in the ward we visit and preserve them over a period of a year or two,” she said.

“With laptops being provided to every nurse, the work will be simplified,” added Ms. Dhanalaskhmi who was one of the 85 nurses who received laptops from Mayor V.V. Rajan Chellappa here on Thursday.

Close on the heels of the distribution of laptops by Public Health Department at Primary Health Centres, the corporation has also introduced the facility where nurses are given laptops along with data cards, all worth Rs.20,000, to update the health chart of pregnant women online.

A pregnant woman in any of the 72 wards (old city) coming under the purview of the city corporation can be tracked by health officials through a hi-tech health system called Pregnant and Infant Cohort Monitoring and Evaluation (PICME) which keeps an eye during the entire pregnancy period starting from conception till the third dose of immunisation of the newborn child, according to the Corporation health officials.

“This mother and child online tracking system called PICME of the Tamil Nadu Government’s Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine is a very effective monitoring system. We can track the health status from the Health Department office itself,” said V. Yashodha Mani, City Health Officer, Madurai Corporation, while explaining about the tracking system.

The follow-up is done comprehensively and every antenatal visit of the mother is recorded in the PICME system.

Already, every urban health post in the city has broadband facility and now the Urban Health Nurses will be using laptops so that they can conveniently enter the data from anywhere.

“Every pregnant mother is given a unique number and through PICME she is tracked for haemoglobin, ultrasound, HIV and foetal movements. When the expected date of delivery comes close, the health staff will be on alert,” Dr. Yashodha Mani said.

Around 20 lakh pregnant women have benefited under Dr. Muthulakshmi Reddy Scheme in Tamil Nadu. In Madurai Corporation limits, as many as 38,780 pregnant women received maternity benefits in the last three years.

Corporation Commissioner C. Kathiravan was present on the occasion.