NRHM & development in Health Scenario of the State
National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) was introduced in India in 2005, by the Ministry of Health and Welfare of the Government of India, with a view to realizing the outcomes related to health envisioned in the Millennium Development Goals and other national level health related policies. It has integrated the existing major national level health projects and programmes namely the Reproductive and Child Health II project, (RCH II), Universal Immunization Programme (UIP), the National Disease Control Programmes (NDCP) and AYUSH systems of Health (Ayurvedic, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy). Thus, it mainly aims to reduce Infant Mortality Rate (IMR), Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR), Total Fertility Rate (TFR) and disease burden due to communicable and non-communicable diseases through community-friendly approach with special attention to women & children.
In Assam, NRHM was launched in 2005. Its introduction became necessary because our health indicators were poor. In 2005, before NRHM intervention 68 infants were dying out of every one thousand born and Maternal Mortality Ratio was also as high as 480 maternal deaths per one lakh live birth during 2004-06. The decadal population growth rate was also high as Total Fertility Rate was 2.9. Moreover, the disease burden of the State was quite high due to communicable & non-communicable preventable diseases like Malaria and other vector borne diseases, Tuberculosis, Leprosy, etc. Therefore, it mainly aims to reduce the IMR of the State to 32, MMR to 177 and TFR to 2.1 by the year 2017, as per the Govt. of India targets set in 12 th Five Year Plan, and also to reduce the disease burden by supporting and co-coordinating with specific programmes of the diseases under National Disease Control Programmes (NDCP) of NRHM.
It is worth mentioning that Assam has come up with various innovations in an effort to achieve these targets. Some of which are Rural Health Practitioners (RHP), Boat Clinic, Boat Ambulance, Mobile Medical Unit (MMU), ASHA Radio Programme, Sarathi-104 (Health information helpline & Complaint Redressal system), Riverine Hospital, Operation smile (free surgery for children with cleft lip and cleft palate), free operations for children with Congenital Heart Disease, Susrusha- financial assistance for kidney transplantation, Sanjeevani (Village Health Outreach Programme), and NCD (national programme on prevention and control of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke etc.), etc.