Government Interventions for Improving Health of Children in Rural Areas

Government Interventions for Improving Health of Children in Rural Areas

Question: The National Health Mission is a step towards good governance that incorporates health care. Discuss the interventions taken for promoting the health of children in rural India taken by the government.

Under the National Health Mission, provision of health care services to children in rural areas has been give priority. The following interventions have been initiated by the government to protect the health of rural children:

Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakaram

• This provides pregnant women delivering at public health institutes free of cost delivery, including C-section

• The programme also incorporates provision of free drugs, diagnostics, diet apart from free transport to institution, between facilities and drop back home

• Free blood transfusions are also provided

• Entitlements are also in place for sick infants attending public health institutions up to 1 year of age

Facility Based Newborn Care/FBNC

• This aims to reduce child morbidity and mortality at different levels

• This includes facilities for sick newborns such as

- Special New Born Care Units,
- Newborn Stabilisation Units and
- Newborn Care Corners

Home Based New Born Care

• This is implemented through ASHAs to improve newborn practices at community level
• It also promotes early detection and referral for sick newborn babies

India Newborn Action Plan
• This aims to reduce neonatal mortality as well as stillbirths

• Interventions to Reduce Newborn Mortality

This includes:

- Vitamin K injection at birth
- Antenatal corticosteroids for preterm labour
- Mother Care
- Injection Gentamicin to young infants with sepsis

Integrated Action Plan for Pneumonia and Diarrhoea/IAPPD

• Launched in 4 states with highest incidence of child mortality namely: UP, MP, Bihar and Rajasthan

Management of Malnutrition

• Nutritional Rehab centres have been set up for managing malnutrition in children

• Appropriate child feeding practices are being promoted in partnership with Ministry of Women and Child Development

• Village Health and Nutrition Days are organised for nutritional counselling for mothers and improving child care practices

MCTS/Mother and Child Tracking System

• This is web based to ensure registration and tracking of women as well as newborn babies to provide regular and complete services to them

Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakaram

• This is for health screening and early intervention services
• It aims to provide comprehensive care to children up to 18 years in the community
• It aims to improve overall quality of life through detection of conditions such as:
- Early detection of birth defects
- Diseases, deficiencies
- Developmental delays including disability

National Iron Plus Initiative

• Under this, life cycle approach, age and dose specific Iron & Folic Acid supplementation programme is being implemented for prevention of anaemia among:
- Under 5 children
- 6 to 10 years aged children
- Adolescents
- Pregnant and lactating women
- Women in reproductive age
- Anaemic children

Capacity Building of Health Care Providers

• Numerous trainings have been conducted under NHM for training doctors, nurses and health care professionals for:

- Essential newborn care
- Early diagnosis
- Case management of common ailments of children

• Trainings are on:

- Navjaat Shishu,
- Suraksha Karyakram (NSSK),
- Integrated Management of Neonatal and Childhood Illnesses (IMNCI),
- Facility Based Newborn Care (FBNC),
- Infant and Young Child Feeding practices (IYCF)

Universal Immunisation Programme

• This covers 13.5 crore children for vaccination against 7 diseases

• Close to 90 lakh immunisation sessions are held each year

Facts and Stats

• For meeting the healthcare needs of marginalised and vulnerable population, 184 High Priority Districts have been identified across the nation

• Implementation of Reproductive Maternal Newborn Child Health and Adolescent interventions is the aim

• Government aims at improved material and child health outcomes

• Nearly 24% of the rural children live in poverty: NRHA; this creates further obstacles for the health care treatment programme
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