Report by Odisha Diary bureau, Bhubaneswar: Riding high on the success of 108 Odisha Emergency Medical Ambulance Services (OEMAS), the State Government has decided to launch 102 National Ambulance Services (NAS) for free referral transport of pregnant women and sick infants under Janani Sishu Surakhya Karyakram (JSSK) programme.The 102 NAS will be complemented by a 104 toll-free helpline service providing information, advice and counselling to the public round-the-clock.The move has been made to revamp the Janani Express system by instituting an organised referral transport service which would more effectively cater to the pregnant women and sick neonates in the rural and remote parts.
At present, there are 462 Janani Express (JE) vehicles operational in the State but they have been hindered by lack of propermanagement and tracking. The coverage of beneficiaries from home to institution has never crossed 60 per cent while drop back is further worse at only 40 per cent. In many Janani Express vehicles, the average transport per month is 20 per cent.“However, the contribution of JEs to raise institutional delivery from 35 per cent to a high of 86 per cent in the State cannot be discounted. The decision to launch a dedicated 102 transport service with centralised call centre and GPS-based tracking system has been taken to further strengthen the system and ensure 100 per cent coverage of the beneficiaries,” Health Minister Damodar Rout said.
The service is proposed to be launched on PPP mode through an external agency on the lines of 108 OEMAS. Besides, about 500 basic ambulances and about 100 Government ambulances would be pressed into service in the first phase. The executing agency will set up a centralised call centre 102 for ensuring round-the-clock free referral service to the needy people.
The GPS fitted vehicles will have to reach the beneficiary within a fixed response time of 30 to 45 minutes. After taking the pregnant woman or sick neonate to the hospital, it will wait for at least 30 minutes to see if further referral is required.Back home drop facilities for mothers after delivery would also be provided after 48 hours.
About 13 lakh cases including eight lakh home to institution, one lakh second referral and four lakh home drop are targeted to be serviced through this system. This will also lift a huge burden on the 108 ambulance.While 75 per cent of the cost would be borne from NRHM, a 104 toll-free helpline would also be set up for providing information on reproductive maternal and child health along with counselling services on family planning, nutrition, hygiene, pre and post delivery care, first aid, etc. Expert consultations over tollfree helpline will also be conducted on a determined day of the week between 10 am and 5 pm according to NRHM sources.