Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Telegraph, July 15

Rural health mission to bring changes
Ranchi, July 14: The National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) would soon bring fundamental changes in the way health services are rendered in rural areas.
The goal of the mission is to provide quality health care, especially in the rural areas.
At a state-level media workshop on community-based monitoring of health services under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) at a city-based hotel today, speakers highlighted multiple health-related issues and urged NGOs to transform the health system.
The workshop was organised by the Child In Need Institute (CINI), the state nodal agency, with a view to reduce infant mortality rate, prevention of diseases, access to primary health care and promotion of a healthy lifestyle.
During the workshop, representatives of different NGOs like Care, Vistar and Nav Bharat Jagriti Kendra also shared their experiences while working at villages.
Suranjeen Prasad, the unit co-ordinator of CINI, said they are trying to create a platform for the masses, so that they can directly avail of health services instead relying on officers. “We are trying to get accountability by involving the masses,” he said. Besides, the unit co-ordinator added that they would also try to achieve social accountability at the village and panchayat-level and would also be involved in the NREGA programme.
Priscilla Minz, the state nodal officer of Community Based Monitoring, said: “Under the NRHM, a community monitoring scheme has begun in nine states,” she said. In Jharkhand also, the project will be running in 135 villages of Palamau, Hazaribagh and West Singhbhum districts as a pilot project.
The provision for monitoring and planning committees has been made at primary health centres (PHC) and at the block and district level, which helps in carrying out assessments, Minz said. “Community-based monitoring will give us a feedback on the status of fulfilment of entitlements, functioning of various levels of the public health system and identifying gaps,” she said.
A media fellowship programme was also announced by the convener of the media fellowship at CINI, Vishnu Rajgadia. It will initiate media fellowships of Rs 10,000 each to eight mediapersons for the period of July-September 2008.

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