National Urban Health Mission likely to provide funding for project aimed at urban poor

Twenty Corporation Urban Health Posts in the city are likely to be upgraded into Urban Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and Urban Community Health Centres (U-CHCs) with funding from National Urban Health Mission (NUHM), a Central Government project to tackle healthcare challenges among the urban poor.

Proposal

Deputy Director of Public Health R. Damodaran told The Hindu here on Monday that of the 20 health posts, six would be upgraded to U-CHCs and the rest, urban PHCs. The proposal would be submitted by this week.

The Mission Director of State Health Society, after the launch of NUHM, had written last month to all Deputy Directors of Health Services seeking proposals for new urban PHCs in areas with population above 50,000. The U-CHCs would be established for every 2.50 lakh urban population. Coimbatore city’s population is estimated to be around 15 lakh.

The U-CHCs would have five doctors with at least one available at all times. The funds would be used to boost health infrastructure and appoint additional health staff such as staff nurses. The staff in U-CHCs and urban PHCs would also help implement public health campaigns.

A new urban PHC would also come up at Pollachi. The new initiatives under the NUHM would be implemented in the urban local bodies through the Department of Public Health, he added.

Dr. Damodaran said the NUHM would focus on those living in slums and other vulnerable population such as homeless, ragpickers, street children, construction and brick and limekiln workers and migrants. There will be a thrust on sanitation, clean drinking water and vector control besides strengthening the public health capacity of urban local bodies.

He said that the District Health Society, constituted for implementing the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), would coordinate the urban health initiatives also.

The Union Cabinet had approved Rs. 22,507 crore in May for the NUHM. Coimbatore was among the 779 cities in the country with a population of above 50,000 to be covered under NUHM. Those cities with population of less than 50,000 would be covered under the NRHM.

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