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Oman’s maternity plan wins laurels
Source: http://www.timesofoman.com/News/Article-15526.aspx
Source Date: Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Focus: Citizen Engagement, Internet Governance
Country: Oman (Sultanate of)
Created: May 15, 2013

Muscat: The Ministry of Health's 'Mother and Child System' has won the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) Project Prize in Geneva under the category of 'ICT Applications – e-Health'.

The winning projects were announced during the opening ceremony of the WSIS Forum 2013 event in the Swiss capital. The ceremony had wide international participation by government bodies and institutions involved in IT, private institutions, and individuals concerned with IT from across the world.

The Sultanate is taking part in the summit as the government's strategic partner, along with the International Telecommunications Union and other organisations.

The Sultanate's delegation to the forum is headed by Dr Salim Sultan Al Ruzaiqi, CEO of the Information Technology Authority (ITA), and includes representatives of the Royal Oman Police (ROP), the Ministry of Health, the State Financial and Administrative Audit Institution, the Ministry of Transport and Communications, and the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, as well as Abdullah bin Nasser Al Rahbi, the Sultanate's permanent delegate to the United Nations.

Information arena
While participating in high-level dialogues involving ministers and heads of e-government bodies and institutions across the world, Dr Al Ruzaiqi discussed topics related to the information arena such as sustainable development, information security, skills and
capacity building in the field of information technology, and the development of electronic services.

Dr Al Ruzaiqi delivered a speech at the opening of the WSIS, where he said: "The Sultanate, as the government's strategic partner for this year's forum, aims at focusing on the importance accorded by the Sultanate to Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and the exchange of expertise in areas related to human-resource development. WSIS action lines have served as an invaluable framework for e.oman and have provided vital milestones in helping it to achieve its goals."

The prizes, awarded for the second year running, recognise excellence in the implementation of projects and initiatives that aim to further the goals of the WSIS in improving connectivity to ICTs.

With more than 280 projects from 64 countries nominated for the honours, for the Sultanate to have won for the second year in a row, has clearly made an indelible mark at the WSIS.
The award given to the Ministry of Health (MoH) recognises the success of the maternity and childcare system, with its provision of comprehensive pre-natal and post-natal health care, as well as its encouragement of birth spacing at various primary health care centres and hospitals.

Mother and child system
On behalf of the MoH, Abdullah Hamood Al Raqadi, assistant director-general for Applications and Directorate-General of Information Technology at MoH, said, "We are proud of this national project that has been built, designed, and implemented by the MoH.

The system went through a long process of development to ensure better results in terms of ease of use, maximum utilisation of technical programming to increase the users' interaction with the programme, and the provision of high-quality services to patients, such as SMSes sent to parents and pregnant women. The messages were to remind them of appointment dates and vaccination dates for their children.

"The programme provides a comprehensive service for pregnant women and mothers and provides guidance and health care advice at home."

Al Raqadi pointed to the benefits of the system, saying, "It eliminates the use of manual patient files and retains the information throughout the life-span of the patient. The automated system allows a systematic examination of the patient because it applies enforcements and restrictions when entering certain fields, ensuring that mandatory data is entered and entered data is not modified after a certain time, so it does not lose

"Patients are managed better because the system creates defaults and automatically sends SMS reminders for immunisation and examination appointments.

"The information is shared and linked with other health programmes, such as school health and nutrition, which were previously recorded vertically. This provides better monitoring of the child's health because data is plotted on a digital growth chart. Mothers can now be assured of high-quality medical care from pre-natal to post-natal treatment, thus reducing maternal mortality rates."

Sultanate's participation
The Sultanate will also be taking part in the exhibition to be held on the sidelines of the WSIS Forum, where it will showcase initiatives that were designed to limit the number of road accidents and to highlight the contribution of ICTs in bridging the gap and enhancing awareness on traffic-safety regulations in Oman.

It will also display the Sultanate's initiatives related to human-resource development and bridging the digital divide, as well as the National PC initiative and its positive impact on Omani society.

WSIS evolved as a means of recognising the importance of the revolution in ICTs and of shaping the future of the world.

World leaders decided that a global vision and a global dialogue were needed to build the framework of an all-inclusive and equitable information society. The goal of WSIS is to achieve a common vision — the desire and commitment to build a citizen-centric, inclusive, and development-oriented information society, where everyone can create, access, utilise, and share information.
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