UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi will launch a new child health screening and early intervention service at Palghar in Maharashtra’s Thane district on Wednesday.
The initiative, titled Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram, under the aegis of the National Rural Health Mission (NHRM), aims to provide a comprehensive healthcare package for all children up to 18 years of age.
The programme will soon be extended to cover all districts of the country in a phased manner. This ambitious scheme, when implemented, is expected to benefit over 27 crore children.
Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad and Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan will take part in the launch.
While in the past children up to 6 years were examined in aanganwadis by a medical officer, those from 6 to 18 years were covered under the school health programme.
Medical teams are to screen children up to 6 years enrolled in anganwadi centres at least twice a year and screen children enrolled in government and government-aided schools.
A set of 30 common ailments/health conditions has been identified for screening and early intervention, including birth and heart defects, deficiency conditions, developmental delays and disabilities like hearing impairment, vision impairment, among others.
As part of the programme, District Early Intervention Centres are to be made operational in all districts to treat cases referred from block levels. Tertiary health services would also be made available for cases requiring surgery.