People living in villages will soon be able to call the central government’s toll free number to ask about health facilities for mothers and children in their vicinity.

A caller can give a missed call on the toll free number, 10588 and he or she will receive a call back within 9 seconds.

The government had set up a Mother and Child Tracking Facilitation Centre in 2014, from where agents make calls to (Accredited Social Health Activist) ASHA field workers and expectant mothers in order to monitor the quality of health services in rural areas. The caller is to find out whether the ASHA worker has given expectant mothers information about delivering her child in a hospital, whether mothers have been given nutrition supplements and other information about health infrastructure.

86 call agents make 5,000 calls a day, and the facility is available for 13 states. It is an important because it will enable both rural populace and health workers to contact the government through MCTFC, a senior official of National Institute of Health and Family Welfare (NIHFW) said.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare as part of its Rural Health Mission instituted the ASHA program, with a view that there would be one ASHA worker in every village in India. They are trained to act as health educators in their communities.

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