The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was apprised on the progress made under the National Health Mission (NHM), including accelerated decline in Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR), Infant Mortality Rate (IMR), Under Five Mortality Rate (U5MR) and Total Fertility Rate (TFR).
The Cabinet also took note of the progress made in respect of various disease programmes like tuberculosis, malaria, kala-azar, dengue, leprosy, viral hepatitis, etc.
The NHM targets include reducing MMR to 1/1,000 live births, reducing IMR to 25/1,000 live births, reducing TFR to 2.1, bringing down prevalence of leprosy to less than 1 /10,000 population and incidence to zero in all districts.
The Cabinet noted that NHM has envisaged new initiatives in 2019-20.
These initiatives, include Social awareness and Actions to Neutralize Pneumonia Successfully (SAANS) that was launched to accelerate the methods to reduce deaths due to childhood pneumonia, Surakshit Matritva Aashwasan (SUMAN) scheme launched to provide assured, dignified, respectful and quality healthcare at no cost along with all existing schemes for maternal and neonatal health have been brought under one umbrella scheme.
Other programmes like the Midwifery Services Initiative aims to create a cadre of nurses in midwifery who are skilled in accordance to competencies prescribed by the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) and are knowledgeable and capable of providing compassionate women-centered, reproductive, maternal and newborn health care services among others.
The implementation strategy of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare under NHM is to provide financial and technical support to states and Union Territories (UTs) enabling them to provide accessible, affordable, accountable, and effective healthcare up to district hospitals, especially to the poor and vulnerable sections of the population.
It has also aimed to bridge the gap in rural healthcare services through improved health infrastructure, augmentation of human resource and improved service delivery in rural areas and has envisaged decentralisation of programmes to district level to facilitate need-based interventions, improve intra and inter-sectoral convergence and effective utilisation of resources.