National Health Mission
The National Health Mission (NHM) is an ambitious health program that was launched in 2013-14 by the Government of India. It is a multi-sectoral and integrated approach to providing affordable healthcare to all citizens of the country. The mission covers both the urban and rural population, and its main objectives are to reduce child mortality and maternal mortality rates, too improve the reproductive and child health status, to provide integrated primary healthcare services and to reduce the disease burden in the country.
The NHM has a holistic approach towards providing health care for the citizens. It focuses on the development of health infrastructure, human resources, health financing and public-private partnership. The mission involves both the Central and State Governments and works together with different stakeholders including communities, non-governmental organizations and private players.
The NHM has made significant progress in achieving its goals over the last few years. It has achieved significant reduction in infant mortality, maternal mortality and under 5 mortality rates. There has also been improvement in new-born health services, immunization coverage and availability of essential drugs at public health facilities. The mission also aims at expanding access to clean drinking water, sanitation and hygiene; improving nutrition outcomes; accelerating the control of communicable diseases; and strengthening vector-borne disease management.
The NHM has been successful in achieving its objectives due to effective implementation of initiatives such as National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and Jan Arogya Yojana (JAY). NRHM focuses on improving primary health care access for rural population while JAY provides free healthcare (up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year) for people below poverty line.
The NHM has been a major success story for India’s healthcare sector and it has made substantial progress in expanding access to quality healthcare services for all sections of society. It remains one of the most important national health programs in India and will continue to play a key role in improving health outcomes for citizens.