The Karnataka state department of health and family welfare will track every pregnant woman in the state using a Aadhaar-linked unique ID number, reports Deccan Herald. Karnataka sees 11-13 lakh pregnancies every year but the state only has data of the women who are registered to avail benefits under the Reproductive and Child Health program and those in BPL category. The state manages to track only 60% of the pregnancies since the women accessing private institutions are off the radar. Under the new system, each woman will be assigned a unique ID number which will be linked to her Aadhaar card. The system was intended to bring down maternal mortality and to track violations of Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PC and PNDT) Act.

The Karnataka state department is in the process of gathering data on RCH and HMIS on a common platform. Health Management and Information System, or HIMS, is a digital initiative under the National Health Mission which tracks several health programs including for pregnancies in the state.

Its worth noting that earlier this month the heath department of a north Indian state government was leaking the medical records of over 12.5 million pregnant women, including their patient records, doctors’ details – all of which was collected as part of the PCPNDT Act, which is meant to prevent sex selection and female foeticide.

In April 2018, it was found that Andhra Pradesh government websites were leaking Aadhaar numbers of women, their reproductive history from pregnancy to delivery, whether they had had an abortion, and so on. It also tracked the infants’ early years and vaccinations.

Medical data leaks

  • In June 2018, a public website run by the Andhra Pradesh government tracked state-run ambulances in real time, allowing anyone with an internet connection to monitor the movement of these vehicles and obtain sensitive information about the patient — such as the pick-up point, why the ambulance was called, and the hospital to which the patient was taken.
  • The same month, an unsecured Andhra Pradesh government website exposed the names and numbers of every person who purchased medicines, including those who bought Suhagra (a medicine for erectile dysfunction) from government-run stores. A dashboard on the Anna Sanjivini website allowed anyone with an Internet connection to access details including the names and phone numbers of every person who bought medicines from every single such store.