Under National Rural Health Mission, significant progress has been made in reducing mortality in children over the last seven years (2005-12). Whereas there is an advance in reducing child mortality there is a dire need to improving survival outcome. This would be reached by early detection and management of conditions that were not addressed comprehensively in the past.
According to March of Dimes (2006), out of every 100 babies born in this country annually, 6 to 7 have a birth defect. This would translate to around 17 lakhs birth defects annually in the country and accounts for 9.6% of all the newborn deaths. Various nutritional deficiencies affecting the preschool children range from 4 per cent to 70 per cent. Developmental delays are common in early childhood affecting at least 10 percent of the children. These delays if not intervened timely may lead to permanent disabilities including cognitive, hearing or vision impairment. Also, there are group of diseases common in children viz. dental caries, rheumatic heart disease, reactive airways diseases etc. Early detection and management diseases including deficiencies bring added value in preventing these conditions to progress to its more severe and debilitating form and thereby reducing hospitalization and improving implementation of Right to Education.
Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) is an important initiative aiming at early identification and early intervention for children from birth to 18 years to cover 4 ‘D’s viz. Defects at birth, Deficiencies, Diseases, Development delays including disability.
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