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Government Of Assam Health & Family Welfare National Health Mission

Sarathi – '104'

Background:

The Government of Assam under the National Rural Health Mission has been laying increasing focus on the preventive aspect of diseases. However, for prevention, it is important that information pertaining to diseases is readily accessible. Despite best efforts, the availability of medical personnel, particularly MBBS or specialist doctors, remains a challenge for the public hospitals and health facilities, especially in the remote areas of the state. Fortunately, the advances made in information technologies have made it possible to provide medical advice from geographically distant locations. It was in this context that State Government of Assam decided to take advantage of technology to make available medical advice to all the people in the state of Assam through a simple phone call. 104 is the number of a toll-free health helpline which any citizen of the state from anywhere in the state can call any time of the day or night to access validated and scientific health related information. This 24x7 call center has been established in Guwahati by the National Health Mission, Assam, in partnership with Piramal Swasthya.

About 104 Sarathi and its services:

104 SARATHI is a one stop Health Information Helpline for resolving all health-related issues of the citizens of Assam in a time bound manner. Sarathi is staffed by qualified and well-trained paramedics, counselors, and doctors who are supported by algorithms and disease summaries. The algorithms and disease summaries standardize care across conditions. As a result, patients with the same symptoms will receive the same diagnosis and same treatment. Sarathi 104 empowers the citizen of Assam to have authentic and standardized medical advice from skilled medical professionals, including prescriptions through SMS on mobile phones. 104 Sarathi also collects information from rural health workers regarding epidemics and outbreaks and passes the information along to the government to spark appropriate response. The services offered by the initiative are:

  • Medical Advice - is the primary service aimed at providing preliminary diagnosis of symptoms, and subsequent measures to be taken. A competent group of trained medical and paramedical personnel use specially designed decision support tools to assess a patient’s condition and provide advice.
  • Counseling Services - Trained Counselors provide counseling to callers in matters of HIV/AIDS condition, matrimonial discord, depression, chronic diseases, psychological distress and suicidal tendencies.
  • Directory Information - This service provides information about health service providers, hospitals, diagnostic centers, pharmacists, etc.
  • Service Improvement - This service is aimed at improving the delivery of existing public health services in the state of Assam. A caller can register a discrepancy in the existing system or alert regarding the requirement of medical action, which is notified to the government authorities.

 

Key features of 104 Sarathi Health Information Helpline:

  • Authentic and standardized medical advice from skilled medical professionals.
  • Staffed by well trained Paramedics, counselors, doctors & specialists to provide medical advice.
  • Medically validated advice provided by computerized proven & tested clinical algorithms & protocols.
  • Prescription of approved medicines through SMS to the callers.
  • Information on all health aspects with priority to National Health programs.
  • More than 75% of the calls are from rural & remote areas.

Progress:

SARATHI PERFORMANCE SINCE INCEPTION

Call Details

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

2018-19

2019-20(Till 31st May-2019)

Total

Total Calls Received

270511

1125771

1729104

2346895

2379987

1969859

1743034

1524839

1314552

220222

14624774

Total Service Provided Calls

108753

548693

673103

858414

745174

599252

528963

452945

381776

70972

4968045

Medical Service Provided Calls

106703

534615

650794

833520

723578

580612

512313

436799

368032

69231

4816340

Counselor Service Provided Calls

2043

7370

15446

15115

14499

13244

13053

12331

10355

1302

104758

Information  Provided Calls

0

4955

5303

7600

5556

4291

2721

3204

2883

332

36845

Complaint Logging Calls

0

1636

1693

2249

1967

1121

883

589

490

106

10734

ASHA Helpline calls

0

1270

709

16309

11625

973

501

310

137

46

31880

Sarathi- 104