• India
  • Feb 10

What is Kilkari programme of health ministry?

The Kilkari programme, a mobile-based service, now covers 20 states/Union Territories.

It was launched with local content in two states — Gujarat and Maharashtra — virtually on February 7.

What is Kilkari programme?

• Kilkari programme was launched on January 15, 2016 as a part of its Digital India initiative, for new and expectant mothers aimed at encouraging them to make healthier choices for their new-born care by delivering messages about pregnancy, childbirth and childcare directly to the beneficiaries.

• It is a centralised interactive voice response (IVR) based mobile health service which delivers 72 weekly and time-appropriate audio messages about pregnancy, childbirth and childcare directly to mobile phones from the second trimester of pregnancy until the child is one-year-old.

• It offers weekly services and timely accessible, accurate and pertinent 72 audio messages through IVR about reproductive maternal, neonatal and child health care to the targeted beneficiaries.

• It informs mothers and families about behaviours and practices to be followed during pregnancy and infancy. 

• Over 7.71 crore calls to provide audio messages were made in 2022-23, while 4.75 crore calls were made in 2021-22.

• The weekly messages help families to educate, remind and reinforce the prioritised actions for each week during this crucial period. This action not only saves the lives of pregnant women and children from several risks but also ensures a healthy outcome.

• It is centrally hosted by the Union health ministry for all states and UTs, and no further investment in the technology, telephony infrastructure or operational costs is required to be borne by them.

• This service is free of cost for states, UTs and beneficiaries.   

• Kilkari complemented the work of Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) in mobilising beneficiaries to access health services and reduce the burden on them. 

• Continued Kilkari support to families has led to changes in behaviours and has also improved service utilisation. It has also proved useful during the pandemic when it was difficult to hold physical visits and awareness campaigns to encourage healthcare seeking behaviour.

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