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National Rural Health Mission (NRHM): Objectives, features and benefits

Team AckoNov 29, 2022

According to the World Bank, almost 64.61% of the Indian population lived in rural areas in 2021. Most rural regions lack modern healthcare facilities and the advanced infrastructure required to provide quality services. The National Rural Health Mission is a step in solving such issues and enabling the rural population to access free health care. Read on to know more.

National Rural Health Mission (NRHM)

Contents

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What is the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM)?

The National Rural Health Mission is a government-aided health insurance scheme that was launched in 2005 to provide accessible, affordable, and quality health care in the rural areas. The primary focus of this scheme is on the low-income households in rural areas. The scheme was launched to improve health conditions in eighteen Indian states that have the most concentration of the rural population. It established functional health facilities by renovating and adding new infrastructure, medical equipment, medicines, and service delivery.

The National Rural Health Mission uses a five-point approach to efficiently deliver the services by focusing on the following.

  1. Communication and awareness

  2. Flexible financing

  3. Monitoring progress against standards

  4. Innovation in human resource management

  5. Improvements in the management framework

Roles and objectives of the National Rural Health Mission

The main goals of NRHM concentrate on the broader vision of the government to support residents' access to inexpensive healthcare facilities. The results of NRHM have rarely changed as a result of the 12th plan's modifications. As a result, the following National Rural Health Mission goals are the mission's main long-term aims. Following are the roles and objectives of the National Rural Health Mission.

Roles

  1. To facilitate increased access and utilisation of quality health service in rural areas.

  2. To provide a platform for Panchayati raj and the community to manage primary health programs and infrastructure.

  3. Promoting equality and social justice.

  4. To provide preventive health care services in rural areas.

Objectives

  1. To reduce MMR (Maternal Mortality Rate) and IMR (Infant Mortality Rate) to 100/1000 and 30/1000 live births, respectively.

  2. To minimise anaemia tendencies in women between the ages of 15 and 49.

  3. To see a 60% drop in annual malaria fatality.

  4. To reduce Leprosy rates to 1/10000 people.

  5. To reduce microfilaria prevalence to less than 1%.

  6. To decrease disease and injury-related mortality and morbidity.

Benefits of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) Scheme

Here are the benefits of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) Scheme.

1. The mission can provide high-quality medical services and facilities to rural residents.

2. Treatments for both communicable and non-communicable diseases are now affordable to the underprivileged people.

3. Rural residents are more conscious than ever and prioritise addressing illnesses right away.

4. They are now aware of the harmful effects of smoking, and the number of smokers has decreased from previous numbers.

5. Increased facilities and equipment thanks to funding from the Indian government. This has improved services.

6. Mobile Medical Units in 459 remote districts that cover medical emergencies in remote areas.

7. Access to free ambulance services within 30 minutes.

8. Free healthcare for prenatal and postnatal care of pregnant women.

9. A permanent Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) worker resident and accountable for the village.

10. The efforts of this mission are mainly responsible for the decline in maternal and newborn mortality.

Important features of National Rural Health Mission Scheme

Following are the important features of the National Rural Health Mission Scheme.

1. Accessible healthcare system

The provision of a high-quality and easily accessible healthcare system for the underprivileged population living in rural areas is one of the basic services offered by NRHM. It is operational in the majority of the rural areas of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and the North Eastern States in addition to the Empowered Action Group (EAG) States. ANMs (Auxiliary Nurse Midwives), multi-skilled doctors, GDMOs (General Duties Medical Officers), and staff nurses are among the additional 1.88 lakh health personnel that have been added.

2. Village Health Sanitation and nutrition committee

It is a committee at village level acting as subcommittee at Gram Panchayat. Their main objective is to create awareness, survey the nutritional status, nutritional deficiency (focusing on women and children), and supervise functioning of Anganwadi centres. 

3. Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) workers

These workers are trained female community health activists. These are permanent residents of the village trained to work as interfaces between public and community health systems. They are the keystones of this mission, they are the activists who create health awareness in the rural population. They counsel the women in prenatal and postnatal care, safe delivery, reproductive health etc., at the village level. This mobilises the community and delivers health benefits to the people.

4. Fixed guidelines

The NRHM has set up guidelines and standards of public health at block levels (100 villages), Primary health centre, sub-health centre level, About Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) level. These indicators will mark the accountability of the scheme and would act as guidelines for minimum health standards.

5. Rogi Kalyan Samiti (Patient Welfare Committee)

The committee's members oversee hospital operations and guarantee improved amenities for the targeted residents covered by NRHM. To prevent a decline in the standard of patient welfare, the government provides these committees with financial support. In contrast, Rogi Kalyan Samitis provides care for locals in all district hospitals, sub-district hospitals, primary health centres, and community health centres (CHCs).

6. Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram

The Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) under NRHM seeks to lower maternal mortality while enticing women to use public facilities for their deliveries. This programme provides eligible expectant mothers who give birth under the NRHM with financial aid. The JSSK (Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram) allows qualified women to receive free deliveries, including those requiring a caesarean section. They also receive food, blood supplies, and transportation from this programme in addition to free medications and tests.

7. Health care service delivery

The scheme tried to fill the gaps in human resource requirements in the healthcare sector by providing 1.7 lakh healthcare professionals, including 8,871 doctors, 2025 specialists, 76643 ANMs, 41609 staff nurses etc., on contract. Additionally there are Mobile Medical Units (MMU) in 459 districts for emergency care. Over 12,000 primary and emergency patient transport vehicles are provided in every corner of the country within 30 minutes of the call.

Eligibility for National Rural Health Mission Scheme

The targeted beneficiaries were socially backward people that are unable to access affordable health services in rural areas. Any permanent resident of declared rural areas is free to avail of the scheme benefits. The NRHM aims to serve socially and economically backward states. 

How to register for the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM)

Application procedures for the National Rural Health Mission are not predetermined. If a person lives permanently in a region where NRHM is in operation, they can benefit from it. Before submitting an application for the NRHM, you can visit the National Health Mission's official website and review all of your options.

If the scheme benefits are just being introduced in your area, then the assigned worker will reach door to door. In case you need any specific assistance contact the assigned ASHA worker of your village, they can be found in the nearest Anganwadi centre. You can also  call the official toll-free helpline number 1800-180-1900 to seek assistance. In case of any query or complaint, you can call the helpline and can check complaint status online. 

Contact address

To get in touch with the relevant person, please visit the National Health Mission website's official Contact Us page.

Frequently asked questions

Here are some common questions and answers about the National Rural Health Mission.

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Which ministry supervises the NRHM scheme?

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare supervises the NRHM scheme.

Who launched the NRHM scheme?

The NRHM scheme was launched by the then prime minister of India in 2005 Dr. Manmohan Singh.

I am a pregnant woman. Can I get benefits from NRHM?

Yes, if you are pregnant and have a permanent address of a rural area then you are eligible to enrol in the scheme.

What is the toll-free number for the National Health Mission?

The toll-free number for the National Health Mission is 1800-180-1900.

Why was the National Health Mission launched?

As per the Constitution of India, Article 47 the government must take measures for raising the level of nutrition and the standard of living of people to improve public health. Thus, the National Health Mission was launched.

Source

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on industry experience and several secondary sources on the internet, and is subject to changes.

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