Mother Child Tracking System flop show in JK

‘Mismanagement, Manpower Shortage Mars Vital Project’

MANZOOR-UL-HASSAN

Srinagar, Oct 30: An ambitious centrally-sponsored project—Mother Child Tracking System (MCTS)— has proved to be a flop show in Jammu and Kashmir with state NRHM officials failing to facilitate and monitor services delivery to the expecting mothers and children during their respective antenatal and immunization phase.
 Sources told Greater Kashmir that the department has failed to engage sufficient manpower and provide infrastructure to execute the project in Jammu and Kashmir. “Ironically, the NRHM higher-ups in the state are forcing the Program Managers and Monitoring Officers to work as Data Entry Operators, asking them to upload the data on the internet-based Mother & Child Tracking System (MCTS) as a face-saving exercise,” they said.
 “Although more than 90 per cent of expecting mothers and new born children had already been registered in the online web server, it was impossible for limited staff to track the beneficiaries (mother and child) after the delivery and during the immunization periods as the data keeps accruing with every passing day,” an official explained.
 He said that all expecting mothers, who register for Antenatal Checkups every day and updating the services provided keep accruing for 9 to 10 months until they get their post-natal checkups.
 “Since there is only one officer for monitoring and evaluation of NRHM in every block, it becomes impossible for him to register and track thousands of women and upload their data on the internet continuously,” said a Program Manager, wishing anonymity.
 According to him the task to track immunization program of every child is even more daunting as they need to be tracked up to 16 years. “Their number will ran into lakhs at one point in time and it will be unthinkable to track them without sufficient workforce and other facilities,” he said.
 Sources said the non-availability of computers/laptops, poor internet connectivity and erratic power supply also add to the woes of officials who operate the project in rural and remote areas like Kupwara, Bandipora, Kargil and Leh.
 As per aggrieved managers their salary has been withheld by the department even on the auspicious occasion of Eid after the higher-ups were snubbed by the Union Health Minister in a recent review meeting. “The NRHM higher-ups are pressurizing us. They just want us to get the job done somehow without considering the heavy workload on the staff and technical problems.”
 MCTS, a web based application developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC), is of no help to these aggrieved young managers, said a Technical officer.
 He said the NIC servers usually remain turned off for days especially on holidays, which makes it impossible for the officials to update the data.
 The department has not even tried to assess the human and material resources required for the project. “We wanted to know what assessment has been done to find out how many women and children can be tracked at one data entry point, but there is none. Some officers have to enter data of a population of 2 Lakh while as some have just to cater to 60 thousand souls. There is not uniformity either which shows the extent of non-professionalism among the higher officers both in the health department and the NIC”, the aggrieved officials said.
 When contacted, the Director NRHM, Dr Yashpal Sharma said: “We have no manpower shortage in implementing the project.”
 However, Dr Sharma admitted that the data entry gets delayed sometimes as managers remain busy in the field activity. “We are trying to engage more people in every district to run the project more smoothly,” he said.
 About mismanagement in the execution of the MCTS in the state, Dr Sharma refuted the allegation as baseless.
 However, sources maintained that the execution of the project has ‘messed up’ in J&K. They further informed that the Health Minister, Sham Lal Sharma and Commissioner/Secretary Health have decided to hold a review meeting of MCTS on November 10.

Lastupdate on : Tue, 30 Oct 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 30 Oct 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 31 Oct 2012 00:00:00 IST




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