Special Correspondent

MUMBAI: Community-based monitoring (CBM) under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) will now cover 13 districts of Maharashtra and reach 1,035 villages in its second phase. The decision to expand the CBM was taken at a State level workshop recently held in Pune attended by representatives of social organisations and Madhukar Chowdhary, Mission Director, NRHM, Maharashtra.

SATHI-CEHAT, the nodal agency for the project along with the State authority, will now identify local organisations to implement the project, according to Nitin Jadhav, State CBM coordinator.

Dr. Jadhav said that in the first phase, the CBM was launched on an experimental basis by the government in five districts covering 225 villages. In the second phase, the number of villages from the first phase districts would increase by 450 and another 360 villages from the newly selected eight districts would be part of the CBM process.

The CBM helped in identifying key areas where the government fell short in providing rural health care by holding extensive local surveys and public hearings. In the first phase, five districts — Pune, Thane, Amravati, Nandurbar and Osmanabad — came under the scanner. Now this extension will include eight districts — Nashik, Chandrapur, Gadchiroli, Aurangabad, Raigad, Kolhapur, Beed and Solapur.

In the first phase villagers, social organisations and health officials came together on a common platform to identify and rectify the lacunae in the public health system. Dr. Jadhav said that due to the cooperation and participation among the stakeholders, an improvement in the functioning of public health services, especially at the village level and at the Primary Health Centre level in some of the districts was visible.