New health scheme launched for rural kids in Uttar Pradesh

Well over six crore children in the age group of two years to 18 years living in the rural areas of Uttar Pradesh, considered the most vulnerable sections of society from the point of view of health care, are the focus of a new health programme called “Aashirvad Child Health Guarantee Scheme” launched here on Thursday. It will be implemented under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). Regular health check-ups, diagnosis and treatment of ailments form the core of the ambitious programme of the Samajwadi Party government.

The scheme was launched by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav who emphasised that people living in the villages were in greater need of better and cheap health care facilities. The Aashirvad Yojana is a step in that direction, he added.

According to the 2011 Census, U.P.’s population was around 20 crore, of which about 8.5 crore children were in the 2-to-8-years age group. This included around 6 crore kids residing in the rural and far flung areas where health facilities are negligible. Studies have revealed that about 50 per cent of the rural children in this age bracket suffer from malnutrition and were anaemic.

The scheme will be implemented in three phases. The first phase will cover children studying in primary and secondary schools in the rural areas.

In the second phase children from Class 1 to 12 in government and government-aided schools, informal education schools, schools run by the Labour and Social Welfare departments, juvenile reform homes and Aanganbari schools will be covered.

The third phase will cover children not going to school, including the kids living with their parents at construction sites, brick kilns and those belonging to the families of gypsies.

Addressing the function at Indira Gandhi Pratishthan here, the Chief Minister said the State Government has given special emphasis to the provision of health care facilities for the poor and the rural populace. He was of the view that health facilities in government hospitals should be at par with those available in big hospitals and health care centres.

For better health care facilities, Mr. Yadav announced that 54 digital X-ray machines, 118 coloured ultrasound machines, 20 X-ray machines and 33 operation machines for orthopaedic operations would be installed in the government hospitals.

The Chief Minister said 100 X-ray machines, 99 ultrasound machines and 455 ECG (electro cardiogram ) machines would be provided to different community health centres.

Mr. Yadav unveiled 17 community and primary health centres built at a cost of Rs.31 crore and laid the foundation stone of 58 community and primary health centres, involving a cost of Rs.126 crore.

Mr. Yadav also handed over two cheques for Rs.10 crore each to the Vice-Chancellor of King George’s Medical University (KGMU), Lucknow, D.K. Gupta for upgradation of the School of Nursing in the university and for construction of a new unit dealing with mother and child health care in Queen Mary’s Hospital.

Health Minister Ahmed Hasan said the entire cost incurred on the treatment of a child afflicted by a serious disease would be borne by the State Government.