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Digital pilot launched for anganwadi workers

02 June 2009

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Hewlett-Packard (HP) has launched its pilot healthcare initiative, the ‘Sankya Learning Laboratory’, in association with Rotary International, for empowering anganwadi workers in Karnataka.

The Sankya laboratory is part of the Sankya Plus programme and has been set up in association with Sumangali Seva Ashram in RT Nagar area of Bangalore. Sumangali Seva Ashram works with 147 anganwadi workers in 35 centres across Karnataka.

The learning laboratory will train anganwadi workers to collect health information on anganwadi children digitally. The information collected will be collated and analysed to track children’s progress. This information will help control and reduce instances of malnutrition amongst children, HP officials said.

The Sankya Plus programme is a $150,000 grant awarded to Rotary by HP. The Sankya laboratory is the first in a series of Sankya Learning Laboratory centres planned in different parts of the state to improve children’s healthcare and education, according to Nishita Hanspal, manager — corporate marketing, HP India.

Mohan Ramanathan, chairman, Program Sankya, said the health initiative, especially for children, has been a key focus area for Rotary. “In Karnataka, over 52 per cent of the children suffer from malnutrition. We hope our efforts via the pilot will help address the issue of information management and raise awareness about causes of malnutrition in children and its implications.”

Information systems which are central to keeping track and analysing huge volumes of data collected are often held back by insufficient use of computer networks. Lack of computer hardware remains a problem up to the district and block levels. This is solved by Sankya providing hardware to select anganwadi centres where the initiative is being piloted, Hanspal said. “The basic objectives of this software are to provide easy reporting of data and determining the kind of medical intervention required,” she added.

Sankya has helped set up computer labs in over 750 schools in Karnataka since July 2006. Over 3,500 PCs have been donated in the last 24 months.

The backbone of Sankya Plus is planned to be a HP-Rotary hub that will connect numerous government and unaided schools through computers deployed under HP’s reuse programme, to disseminate information to thousands of school children.

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