Health

Detection of high-risk pregnancies to go hi-tech

Jane Hirst, Oxford University Hospitals Obstetrician and Senior Research Associate of TGI, speaking at a workshop in Vijayawada on Monday.

Jane Hirst, Oxford University Hospitals Obstetrician and Senior Research Associate of TGI, speaking at a workshop in Vijayawada on Monday.  

SMART Health Pregnancy programme to be launched in Guntur in June

The ASHA workers and ANMs in Guntur district will soon be provided with tablets and a special software that will help them identify the High-Risk Pregnancies (HRPs) cases and ensure better healthcare services for the new mothers suffering from non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

The George Institute (TGI), a global health organisation, working in association with the University of Oxford, will impart training to the non-physician healthcare works (NPHW)—ASHA workers and ANMs– to check pregnant women for hypertension, haemoglobin, blood sugar and other parameters.

Special software

“As part of the TGI SMART Health Pregnancy programme, the NPHWs will be trained for conducting simple clinical observations and diagnostic tests. They will enter the data on tablets. A software will analyse the data and inform the NPHW whether the case is an HRP and what follow up action should be taken,” Oxford University Hospitals Obstetrician and Senior Research Associate of TGI, Jane Hirst told The Hindu.

Dr. Hirst was the key speaker at a national workshop on HRPs and NCDs organised here on Monday.

Non-communicable diseases

According to him, the NCDs are the leading cause of death in women in India with a dramatic increase in cardio-metabolic disorders such as heart disease and type-2 diabetes. TGI has found that women in rural India are vulnerable to such risks owing to the poor awareness and limited access to healthcare services. High-risk conditions detected during pregnancy such as hypertensive disorders and gestational diabetes increase the risk of heart attacks.

“The share of NCDs in maternal mortality rate (MMR) is between 30% and 40%. The MMR of several developing countries and Indian States has plateaued because of the NCDs. Situation in Sri Lanka and Kerala is no exception,” Dr Hirst said.

TGI has developed the SMART Health Pregnancy programme to improve the screening and management of NCDs. The steps taken by the Indian government have reduced the MMR considerably. But technology was necessary to get ahead of the game, he observed.

TGI primary healthcare programme head D. Praveen said that the SMART Health Pregnancy programme would provide the NPHWs a list of women with HRPs who were either pregnant or had recently delivered. The ASHA worker would be able to counsel the women.

“The meeting of stakeholders was conducted on Monday to finetune the entire programme. The pilot project would begin in Guntur in June and the project would be gradually scaled up,” Dr. Praveen said.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 4:13:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/detection-of-high-risk-pregnancies-to-go-hi-tech/article26706181.ece

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