Presiding over a national review meeting of the National Health Mission (NHM) in New Delhi recently, Health Secretary CK Mishra called for adopting innovative approaches to make the healthcare facilities at the peripheries work in order to make tertiary care facilities less crowded, which may eventually impact the quality of healthcare in the country.
The review meeting, which was attended by State Health Secretaries and NHM Mission Directors from all States and UTs, had on its agenda issues like reduction of Maternal Mortality Ratio and Infant Mortality Rate, improving immunisation and uptake of family planning measures in selected States and UTs.
Mishra asked the States and UTs to take a critical look at problem areas at all layers and resolve them through innovative approaches and new ideas. He said that NHM provides unparalleled flexibilities to address healthcare challenges specific to the States.
Taking stock of healthcare initiatives, he said there has been significant improvement in Maternal Mortality Ratio, Under Five Mortality Rate and Total Fertility Ratio and the incidence of diseases such as TB, HIV, AIDS and Malaria has witnessed a decline, but he also pointed out that the increasing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) needs better response.
“The disease burden on account of NCDs is increasing resulting in substantial economic loss for families and the nation as a whole,” Mishra said.
States were urged to focus on labour room protocols for intra partum care, carry out 100% Maternal Death Audit for understanding cause of maternal death and monitoring of inborn and out born deaths of sick newborns separately.
Mishra stressed that Mission Indradhanush is not a programme but a campaign towards increasing immunisation coverage. “The states must focus on strengthening routine immunisation,” he said, adding that there is a gap in initiation of early breast feeding 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.
The Health Secretary also urged the States to utilise the NHM flexibilities to devise new strategies and sharpen existing strategies for last mile approach.