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Indian Government launches India’s first comprehensive adolescent health programme

Ghulam Nabi Azad, Minister of Health and Family Welfare
Ghulam Nabi Azad, Minister of Health and Family Welfare

The Government of India on 7 January 2014 launched the nation’s first comprehensive adolescent health programme named Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK) in New Delhi. The programme will include a sharp focus on adolescents’ sexual health.

The programme has been launched by Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad. The Health Minister also inaugurated a three-day National Adolescent Health Consultation. The RKSK defines an adolescent as a person within 10-19 years of age, in urban and rural areas, includes both girls and boys, married and unmarried, poor and affluent, whether they are in school or out of school. This broad definition helps to address the myriad problems of adolescents across various groups and categories.

The programme is committed at promotion of adolescent health mission across India and would address to the health needs of 243 million adolescents constituting 21 percent of the total population in the country. RKSK envisions at help adolescents to realize their full potential by making them informed and responsible decisions related to the health and well-being.

As per Azad, World Health Organization (WHO) will declare India as a polio free country on 13 January 2014, which is a great milestone for the country.

Dimensions of Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK)

  • Mental health
  • Nutrition
  • Substance misuse
  • Gender based violence
  • Non-communicable diseases

The programme introduces community based interventions through peer educators, and is underpinned by collaborations with other Ministries and State governments, knowledge partners and more research. The programme will have a strategic approach to RMNCH+A (Reproductive, Maternal, New born, Child Health + Adolescent) in which `A` denotes adolescents.

The programme emphasis upon seven Cs-

  • Coverage
  • Content
  • Communication
  • Counseling
  • Clinics
  • Convergence

A handbook on the strategy frameworks was also launched by the Health Minister. The handbook includes

  • The framework for monitoring, supervision and evaluation of the programme once it is rolled out
  • The handbook on operational framework which will help to translate the programme into action
  • The resource packs for the ANMs, ASHAs, medical officers, LHVs and peer educators

Reference: PIB

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