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Azad launches NRHM schemes worth Rs 500 Cr in Assam
NEW DELHI, Sept 1: Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, launched various schemes worth 500 crores under NRHM for the strengthening of healthcare services in Assam.

The new initiatives that have been launched are: Free Generic Drug Service, Rashtriya Bal Swasthya karyakaram(RBSK), National iron Plus Initiative, Fleet of 359 New Ambulances for National Ambulance Service.

In addition, Azad also inaugurated Mother & Child Tracking System Call Centre and Tele-Radiology Project that have been set up under NRHM.

Earlier Azad laid foundation stone of 14 MCH wings of various district hospitals which were being constructed at the cost of more than Rs. 320 Cr to cater to the increased demand of institutional deliveries, as also improve the maternal and child health. These MCHs wings upon becoming functional, will provide 1400 additional beds to the health system of Assam.

Speaking on the occasion Azad said that the aim of UPA government was to upgrade and strengthen healthcare systems at all levels across the country and to achieve that objective of providing accessible, equitable and affordable health care services across the country. He said that so far more than Rs 96000 Cr had been released to the states under NRHM and more than 54000 new constructions or renovations of public health facilities had been taken up in the country.

Highlighting the achievements of Assam in health sector, Azad appreciated the creativity and initiative of state government for taking full advantage of the funding that the Health Ministry, Government of India had made available to the states under NRHM. He said that state government had so far utilized more than Rs 5700 Cr under NRHM and another 1150 Cr had been approved for the year 2013-14 to the state.

Explaining the role played by JSY and JSSK, Azad said that these two important interventions had attracted pregnant women towards health facilities like a magnet. In Assam alone, about 24 lakh women had been covered under JSY by incurring an expenditure of Rs 466 Cr. Under JSSK, Rs 66 Cr had been approved for the State for the year 2013-14.

“To improve new-born care in the state, 16 SNCUs, 136 NBSUs and 692 NBCCs have been set up under NRHM and these facilities will help to reduce neo-nate and infant deaths substantially, as also spruce up the new born care,” said Azad.

Azad said that comprehensive infrastructure strengthening had been taken up under NRHM in the state, with thousands of health facilities being constructed or renovated. Health Ministry had so far sanctioned 3212 new constructions and 2048 renovations/upgradations in the state of Assam.

“Augmentation of human resources is one of cornerstones of our policy under NRHM and we are liberally supporting the states to enhance the availability of human resources in the health institutions at all levels,” said Azad. In the state of Assam alone more than 25000 healthcare functionaries which included specialists, doctors, nurses, paramedics and AYUSH professionals had been added to the health systems.

Explaining the importance of Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakaram(RBSK), Azad said that this unique initiative could lay the foundation of a healthy nation as it signals a leap towards universal health coverage.

He said that though a school health program existed but that was too weak and under-funded to help realize the goal of securing the health of children. “This is what prompted the Health ministry to come up with a comprehensive and broad-based programme, namely RBSK that aims to screen 27 crore children upto the age of 18 years across the country for 4 Ds- viz. Diseases and Disabilities, Defects and Disorders. RBSK was launched by Sonia Gandhi on February 6, 2013 from Thane district of Maharashtra,” he informed.

Azad said that all expenses on the treatment and management of specified medical conditions of screened children, upto the tertiary level, would be borne by Union Health Ministry under NRHM. He exuded confidence that this would lead to improvement in the quality of life enabling all persons to realize their full potential.

While launching a fleet of 359 new 108 ambulances under National Ambulance Service of NRHM, Azad expressed the hope that this would lend strength to referral and emergency transport facility in the state, adding that 50 Mobile Medical Units(MMUs) had also been funded under NRHM in the state. Azad said that NRHM had injected about 18000 ambulances into the health system of the country with the aim of expanding the referral and emergency transport services.

Expressing concern over the increased incidence of Japanese Encephalitis in the state, Azad said that monitoring and supervision of the disease needed to be increased. He said that 10 endemic districts had been taken up for JE vaccination programme and that JE vaccine had been made part of universal immunization in such districts.

Besides, 9 sentinel sites for JE diagnosis had been established. Funding had been provided for setting up of 60 bedded Encephalitis Management Ward in Guwahati Medical College and it was the process of establishment.

Azad also called upon the state government to consolidate the gains that accrued so far and make concerted effort to bring down IMR and MMR.

These functions were also attended by Chief Minister Assam and Health Minister Assam.
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News Updated at : Monday, September 2, 2013
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