State ranked high by Common Review Mission of NRHM
Tamil Nadu, which came in for appreciation for its performance in the health sector during the Call to Action: Child Survival and Development Summit, was also ranked high by the Common Review Mission of the National Rural Health Mission which evaluated several health parameters.
Based on a comparative evaluation, the CRM of NRHM report commended Tamil Nadu for its maternal and child care services. It is one of the three states, along with Kerala and Maharashtra, to cross the 11 Plan target for Maternal Mortality Rate reduction. While all States reported continuous increases in institutional deliveries, the highest levels were in Tamil Nadu.
In context, the State has a large number of primary health centres providing caesarean section facilities (105) the report noted, while observing that in many states it is still the private sector that does a majority of the C-section cases in the district. A key component of pulling off a successful surgery is the availability of blood.
The best practice in this sector is also credited to Tamil Nadu, where blood storage centres are not only fully functional, but also has strong linkages with various health units.
The quality of ante-natal care services in the country continues to be a cause of concern and was found to be poor in all states except Tamil Nadu and Kerala, the report stated. The State also had proper identification and follow-up for cases of severe anaemia, with adequate remedial measures put in place.
Positive reports have also come in about increasing numbers of special new-born care units from four states in Tamil Nadu, which has also reported effective birth and death registration systems.
Moving on, the committee felt that the State utilises the school set up to effectively address preventive, promotive and basic curative health care needs of school children, recommending that the model be implemented in other states as well.
The Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation a state-run procurement and logistics system, which has come in for rich praise from several quarters has been recommended for replication widely, but has taken place only in Delhi and Kerala.
Undoubtedly, there are several sectors that require improvement even in Tamil Nadu, public health experts in the State explain. However, the perception of the Centre, and other states about the performance of Tamil Nadu is also based on clear indicators of human development. It has consistently performed better than most states in the country in terms of infant and maternal mortality rates, and with a special public health cadre in place is better placed to handle and ramp up performance, they add.