NHM review: Stress on strengthening peripheral health institutions and innovation

NetIndian News Network

New Delhi, August 22, 2017

Union Health Secretary C K Mishra has emphasised the need for innovative approaches to make the facilities at the peripheries work to avoid crowding of tertiary care facilities which impacts the quality of healthcare.
Chairing the National Review of the National Health Mission (NHM) here recently, Mr Mishra asked the States and Union Territories (UTs) to take a critical look at problem areas at all layers and resolve them through innovative approaches and new ideas.
He stated that the NHM provided unparalleled flexibilities to address healthcare challenges specific to State context and needs.
The national review meeting was attended by State Health Secretaries and NHM Mission Directors from all States and UTs. Issues on the agenda included reduction of maternal mortality rate (MMR), internal mortality rate (IMR), improving immunization and uptake of family planning measures in selected States and UTs, roll-out of recent initiatives such as strengthening sub-Centres as Health and Wellness Centres, screening for non-communicable diseases (NCDs), progress in tuberculosis (TB) elimination, status of preparedness for swine flu, addressing human resource challenges, direct benefit transfer (DBT) payments, digital payments, rare diseases, and so on.
Mr Mishra said while there has been a considerable improvement as reflected in the accelerated decline of MMR, under-5 mortality rate (U5MR) and total fertility rate (TFR) and reversing the incidence of diseases such as TB, HIV, AIDS and Malaria, areas such as NCD prevention and control required a better response.
The disease burden on account of NCDs is increasing, resulting in a substantial economic loss for families and the nation as a whole, he added.
Mr Mishra emphasised on strengthening health systems, particularly making special newborn care units (SNCUs), first referral units (FRUs) and newborn care corners (NBCCs) functional with requisite human resources and equipment backed by trained teams for provisioning of quality services.
The States were urged to focus on labour room protocols for intra partum care, carry out 100% Maternal Death Audit for an understanding of the cause of maternal death and monitoring of deaths of sick newborns separately.
He stressed that Mission Indradhanush is not a programme but a campaign towards increasing immunisation coverage. The states must focus on strengthening routine immunisation.
There is a gap in the initiation of early breastfeeding which needs to be actively bridged through interventions/programmes such Mothers’ Absolute Affection-MAA. Complementary feeding and its quality are also issues that States need to address, he said.
Mr Mishra urged the State to utilise the NHM flexibilities to devise new strategies and sharpen existing strategies for last mile approach.
He exhorted States to start measuring service delivery and monitoring performance based on a set of deliverables with clear allocation of responsibilities and roles for incentivising and fixing accountability. He urged States to co-opt the private sector as the elimination of TB is not possible otherwise.
States/UTs actively participated by highlighting problem areas, challenges and providing suggestions thereby serving not only as a forum for inputs for the Health Ministry but also for cross-learning across States/UTs, an official press release said.