From “Survival to Healthy Survival” , the National Health Mission has made significant progress in Child Mortality rate. Whereas there is an advance in reducing child mortality there is a dire need to improving survival outcome.
According to March of Dimes (2006), out of every 100 babies born in this country annually, 6 to 7 have a birth defect. This would translate to around 17 lakhs birth defects annually in the country and accounts for 9.6% of all the newborn deaths. Various nutritional deficiencies affecting the preschool children range from 4 per cent to 70 per cent. Developmental delays are common in early childhood affecting at least 10 percent of the children. These delays if not intervened timely may lead to permanent disabilities including cognitive, hearing or vision impairment. Also, there are group of diseases common in children viz. dental caries, rheumatic heart disease, reactive airways diseases etc. Early detection and management diseases including deficiencies bring added value in preventing these conditions to progress to its more severe and debilitating form and thereby reducing hospitalization and improving implementation of Right to Education.
Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) is an important initiative aiming at early identification and early intervention for children from birth to 18 years to cover 4 ‘D’s viz. Defects at birth, Deficiencies, Diseases, Development delays including disability. This aim to improve survival outcomes by decreasing morbidity and improving the quality of life of our children. This programme will reach infants born at public health facilities and at home, covering a significant proportion of the annual birth cohort. In addition, children enrolled under Anganwadi centers and Government schools & Government aided schools are being reached systematically through Mobile Health Teams under RBSK. Thus, early identification of various health condition under RBSK, assured linkage to care, support and early treatment introduces equitable child health care approach which will, in the long run, reduce out of pocket expenditures, reduce the burden of disease, improve awareness and promote health & development among children.