The Union Cabinet, on Thursday, approved the launching of an annual health survey in the Empowered Action Group (EAG) States identified under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) to get a feedback on the impact of schemes being implemented under the Mission.

The field work for the survey would commence during 2009-10 and the first set of results is likely to start flowing during 2010-11. Based on the experience of this exercise, a decision will be taken on the future expansion of the survey to other parts of the country.

The field work on an annual basis for around 284 districts in Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan and Assam would be undertaken by private agencies and supervised by officers of the Registrar-General of India, where several posts were created to monitor the work of the field agencies.

The survey would provide a feedback on the improvement shown in the Total Fertility Rate, the Infant Mortality Rate at the district level and the Maternal Mortality Ratio at the regional level.

The NRHM was launched in 2005 to bring about an improvement in the health system and health status of the people, especially those who live in the rural areas. The Mission seeks to provide universal access to equitable, affordable and quality health care which is accountable and responsive to the needs of the people.

The Mission also aims at achieving the goals set out under the National Health Policy and the Millennium Development Goals during the mission period.

Accurate, relevant and up-to-date information is essential for the health service providers at all levels so that they can initiate action on the gaps in the system based on evidence and information.

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