Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram

Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (National Child Health Care Program) was recently launched under the aegis of National Rural Health Mission. A number of  new interventions have been designed, particularly to improve maternal and child health. The Central government has planned to release over Rs. 90,000 crores to the states for strengthening health systems. Despite tremendous improvements in health indicators, about 15 lakh children die before their fifth birthday every year.

The initiative is to provide comprehensive healthcare and improve the quality of life of children through early detection of birth defects, diseases, deficiencies, development delays including disability.Many more suffer from debilitating diseases affecting their growth and quality of life. Thus this innovative program has been launched from Palghar, a Tribal Block in Thane district, Maharashtra.

Salient features of Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram

  1. It is part of the National Rural Health Mission.
  2. The programme will be extended to cover all districts of the country in a phased manner, ultimately hoping to cover 27 crore children.
  3. Under the scheme, children will be screened for 30 common ailments/health conditions, so that there is the possibility of early medical intervention, in case there is such need.
  4. Birth defects like Down’s syndrome, congenital cataract, deafness and heart defect, deficiency conditions like anaemia, malnutrition and goitre, developmental delays and disabilities like hearing impairment and vision impairment are among the conditions for which children will be screened under this scheme.
  5. Mobile health teams will be dedicated to the screening of children, and two AYUSH doctors (one male and one female), nurse and a pharmacist would be available for the service in every block.
  6. All children in the 0-6 age range enrolled in anganwadis would be screened at least twice a year; all children in government schools and in schools aided by the government would also be regularly screened for the above mentioned conditions.
  7. Newborn children will also be screened for possible birth defects in health facilities where deliveries take place.
  8. Children with deficiencies, disabilities or diseases would be referred to higher centres for further investigation and treatment.
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