The Urban Health Centres and Maternal and Child Health Centres, which were closed down in 2004 after the formal winding up of the World Bank-funded Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) project, will resume functioning within a year with the implementation of the Centre'ss flagship programme — National Urban Health Mission (NUHM).

As many as 27 Maternal and Child Health Centres and 7 Urban Health Centres will get a fresh lease of life under the new initiative. Priority will be given to renovate the existing infrastructure such as buildings, etc., to suit the new requirement. New vacancies will be created to manage the functioning of these centres.

Officials with the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) said the reopening of the health centres would mainly benefit the urban poor and slum dwellers. “So far, the NRHM focussed on rural areas, but, as per the latest directive of the Union government, it would gradually be part of the new National Health Mission (NHM). Both the NRHM and NUHM will come under the NHM,” they said.

Along with the reopening of the closed-down centres, new posts of doctors and nurses would be created. The services of doctors would be made available at the Urban Health Centres, whereas Junior Public Health Nurses would be posted to take care of the Maternal and Child Health Centres.

The team will also take care of the pain and palliative care programmes and the newly introduced health schemes for the elderly population. The services of doctors will be made available at the Urban Health Centres too to handle emergency cases.

A senior official attached to the district unit of the NRHM said State-level discussions were on to finalise the requirements and prepare a detailed project report within a month to secure Central funds. On August 27, a discussion would be held in Thiruvananthapuram to finalise the priorities, he added. In the organisational part, the NUHM would be similar to that of the RCH project with the support of the City Corporation.

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