October 23, 2012
SMS referral system to keep track of malnourished kids in Pakistan
A Short Message Service (SMS) referral system will be introduced to help treat children with severe malnutrition in Pakistan, reports The Express Tribune.
Organised by the Planning and Development Division in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO), 48 nutritionists from eastern Mediterranean region came together to chalk out ways to treat millions of children at the critical stage of malnutrition.
Dr Khizar Tauseef, WHO focal person on nutrition, said lady health workers will play a key role in the SMS referral system. They will identify malnourished children in their community and send their details through an SMS to the referral system.
The system will automatically refer the child to the nearest healthcare centre through an SMS and this message will be sent to all the concerned stakeholders, health experts and the children’s parents. When the child is taken to the healthcare centre, the referral system will automatically generate another SMS. The messages will continue to be sent till the child completes the treatment and becomes an active part of the community.
The surveillance system, currently functional in 18 districts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, will be expanded, said Dr Tauseef. The system will also help provide updated statistics on malnutrition in the country and will be accessible by everyone.
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