The ‘Child Health Screening and Early Intervention Services’ programme under National Rural Health Mission initiated by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, therefore, aims at early detection and management of the 4Ds prevalent in children. These are Defects at Birth, Diseases in children, Deficiency conditions and Developmental Delays including Disabilities. Comprehensive Child Health screening and management as a public health approach assures a package of health services for all children from birth to 18 years of age under the Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) initiative.
Health screening of children is a known intervention under the School Health Programme. It is now being expanded to cover all children from birth to 18 years of age. The programme has been initiated as significant progress as already has been made in reducing child mortality under the National Rural Health Mission. However, further gains can be achieved by early detection and management of conditions in all age groups.
The ‘Child Health Screening and Early Intervention Services’ will also translate into economic benefits in the long run. Timely intervention would not only halt the condition to deteriorate out would also reduce the out-of –pocket expenditure of the poor and the marginalized population in the State. Additionally, the child health screening and early intervention services will also provide state wide epidemiological data on the 4Ds (i.e. Defects at birth, Diseases, Deficiencies and Developmental Delays including Disabilities). Such a data is expected to hold relevance for futures planning of area specific services.
There are also groups of diseases which are very common in children e.g. dental caries, otitis media, rheumatic heart disease and reactive airways which can be cured if detected early. It is understood that early intervention and management can prevent these conditions to progress into more severe and debilitating forms, thereby reducing hospitalization and resulting in improved school attendance.
Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakaram (RBSK) is being implemented in the State from the financial year 2012-13. This programme is being run in the state in convergence with education, ICDS, Social Welfare and other departments. There are 148 Mobile health teams functional in the state for health examination of the school and Aaganwadi children. Total 12.22 lakhs children enrolled in schools and 8.26 lakhs are targeted for health examination in 2016-17. Due to difficult geographical conditions, distance of school and AWCs from road head and sparse population, existing number of team per district are able to examine each child once a year in school and twice in a year in Aaganwadi Centres.
Since 2012-13 this programme is being implemented in the state through a dedicated Mobile health team which includes two MO’s (BAMS) (01 male & 01 female), one pharmacist, and one ANM/Staff Nurse at block level. One/two RBSK Managers are positioned at District level to facilitate the block teams. Besides this there are 2 Regional Coordinators (Garhwal and Kumoun) are in position for monitoring and monthly report compilation of the programme.