Seven high focus districts identified for implementation of scheme
Six districts in Hyderabad Karnataka (HK) and north Karnataka (NK), and one district in south Karnataka (old Mysore region), that have been identified as High Focus Districts by the Union Government in view of poor health indicators prevailing there, have adopted a new model to address neo-natal and infant deaths.
The “Gadchiroli model” of residential newborn care has been launched in these districts, which, according to health authorities, have registered lowest institutional deliveries and female literacy, to tackle the “health inequalities” under the National Rural Health Mission.
Called Home-Based Newborn and Child Care (HBNCC), the model, mooted by the Society for Education Action and Research in Community Health (SEARCH), an NGO in Gadchiroli of Maharashtra, is being implemented in the districts of Gulbarga, Bidar, Raichur, Koppal, Bijapur, Bagalkot and Chamarajanagar.
Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) and Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) are said to be high and not on the decline in these districts. Emerging and re-emerging disease burden and ineffective and insensitive service delivery had also come in the way of achieving better health and development there. Under the model, the services of Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) and Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANMs) and other health workers are made available while conducting deliveries in cases where women cannot access health institutions. All support is extended under the HBNCC to ensure safe deliveries at home. The health workers would ensure post-delivery care, monitoring the woman's and infant's health for at least three weeks from the date of delivery.
Speaking to The Hindu, S. Selva Kumar, Mission Director, NRHM, said an MoU had been signed with SEARCH for equipping a team of health workers (master trainers), who had been roped in from the seven districts, with skills for implementing the model for newborn and childcare at homes. The master trainers have undergone training on HBNCC at Gadchiroli in phases and they have in turn trained the mentor facilitators such as ASHAs, ANMs and others in health sector, for implementation.
“The aim of this exercise is to strengthen the human resources available with skills for ensuring safe deliveries. The training sessions got over in December 2010 and those who were trained have begun implementing the model that focusses on addressing infant deaths with proven interventions,” he said.
Mr. Kumar said 14 taluks had been covered for implementation in the first phase and the remaining would be covered in the next phases.
According to Mr Kumar, the percentage of girls marrying before attaining 18 years is highest in Koppal district with 44.7 per cent while the percentage of institutional delivery is lowest in that district at 24.8 per cent. The female literacy is lowest in Raichur with 35.9 per cent. School drop-out, poor attendance in schools is among various indicators that were studied to select the districts for home based child care.