Dearth of ANMs hampering the tracking of pregnant women, says Vizag CMO
Implementation of the Mother and Child Tracking System (MCTS) in 50 wards of GVMC is lagging behind for lack of enough health staff at the ground level. The system, initiated by the Union Health Ministry, is aimed at covering women of conceivable age covering pre-natal and ante-natal check-up and immunisation for children in the first year. The children are also tracked to prevent malnourishment with supplements from anganwadi centres and the intensive nourishment centre at KGH.
The tracking that began in January 2012 should have so far covered about 30,000 ante-natal women but the number registered is 20,105. It is the duty of ANMs and ASHA workers to visit houses and enrol the women and children to ensure that women get the required medical care during pregnancy and after delivery children get immunised. The 50 wards exclude Simhachalam, Gopalapatnam, Madurawada and Pendurti which are covered by eight primary health centres there.
But it is the dearth of ANMs that is hampering the tracking of the women, says Chief Medical Officer (Health) admitting that the corporation is lagging behind. Against a requirement of 115 ANMs, only 45 are available in the 11 dispensaries and two first referral units. Even the number of ASHA (accredited social health activist) workers is a mere 45 against 400 required. Though there are 94 community health volunteers, the qualified among them cannot be absorbed as ANMs.
The number of health centres also should be one per 30,000 to 40,000 people whereas presently it is one per lakh. If the Urban Health Mission comes into existence it is likely to improve.
“Also since the dispensaries do not offer institutional deliveries, people to go to private hospitals and the KGH. Unless the private hospitals and nursing homes are instructed to inform GVMC about deliveries, it is difficult to track them.
The corporation health workers are denied access to apartments making tracking difficult,” says GVMC Senior Medical Officer T. Srinivas.
Though the tracking is to be done online the dispensaries are not provided computers or data entry operators though rural and tribal areas have them. The uploading is done at private net centres.