In an official release under the Rural Health Mission, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare gave details of the provision of health care to children particularly in rural areas.
The release disclosed that under Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakaram (JSSK) all pregnant women who deliver in public health institutions will be absolutely free and no charges to be levied even for Caesareans.
Facility Based Newborn Care (FBNC) at different levels to reduce newborn morbidity and mortality by setting up of facilities for care of sick and small newborn such as Special New Born Care Units (SNCUs), Newborn Stabilization Units (NBSUs) and Newborn Care Corners (NBCCs) at different levels is a thrust area under NHM. Home Based New Born Care (HBNC) through ASHAs has been initiated to improve newborn practices at the community level and early detection and referral of sick newborn babies.
Newer interventions to reduce newborn mortality- Vitamin K injection at birth, Antenatal corticosteroids for preterm labor, Kangaroo Mother Care and injection Gentamicin to young infants in cases of suspected sepsis have been rolled out. Management of severe acute malnutrition in children is being done at Nutritional Rehabilitation Centers (NRCs) which have been established across the country. Village Health and Nutrition Days (VHNDs) are organized for imparting nutritional counseling to mothers and to improve child care practices.
Mother and Child Tracking System (MCTS) a name based Mother and Child Tracking System has been put in place which is web based to ensure registration and tracking of all pregnant women and newborn babies so that provision of regular and complete services to them can be ensured. Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) for health screening and early intervention services has been launched to provide comprehensive care to all the children in the age group of 0-18 years in the community. The purpose of these services is to improve the overall quality of life of children through early detection of birth defects, diseases, deficiencies, development delays including disability.
Capacity building of health care providers through various training is being conducted under NHM to train doctors, nurses and ANMs for essential newborn care, early diagnosis and case management of common ailments of children. Universal Immunization Program (UIP) covers about 13.5 crore children for vaccination against seven vaccine preventable diseases, through 90 lakh immunization sessions each year. Mission Indradhanush, launched on 25th December, 2014, seeks to achieve 90% full immunization coverage of India by year 2020.
The objective of Mission Indradhanush is to ensure high coverage of children with all vaccines in the entire country with a high focus on the 201 identified districts. It is proposed to conduct four special vaccination campaigns between March and June 2015 with intensive planning and monitoring of these campaigns covering all children up to two years of age and pregnant women for tetanus toxoid vaccine.
To sharpen the focus on vulnerable and marginalized populations in underserved areas, 184 High Priority Districts have been identified across the country for accelerating implementation of Reproductive Maternal Newborn Child Health+ Adolescent (RMNCH+A) interventions for achieving improved maternal and child health outcomes.