GUWAHATI, Nov 15 - Regular health monitoring of the underprivileged children residing in child care institutions (CCIs) like children�s homes and specialised adoption agencies will now be possible with a plan to include these institutions under the Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) of the National Health Mission.
The step has been initiated by the Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (ASCPCR), National Health Mission (NHM) and State Child Protection Society (SCPS) considering the absence of a mechanism to conduct regular health check-ups and address various health and nutrition requirements of children in CCIs.
Under the plan these institutions will come under the RBSK, which would go a long way in identifying and addressing the health issues of children in need of special care and protection.
At present there are approximately 3,000 children in 120 recognised CCIs across the State. Such institutions include observation homes for children, open shelters, children�s homes and the specialised adoption agencies.
Dr S Lakshmanan, Mission Director of NHM told The Assam Tribune that the CCIs would be included under the micro action plan of RBSK. �Under this process, our teams of doctors and nurses will pay regular visits to the children�s homes. Screenings would be done to find if there are any birth defects, congenital issues or other health issues with these children. Treatment will be provided,� he said.
�Children who are neglected by society or are victims of abuse or exploitation, need special care, including health care. The scheme covers defects at birth, deficiencies, diseases and development delays including disability,� he added.
Realising the need to have regular health check-ups for such children, the ASCPCR wrote to the NHM to take up the issue under a mechanism to give it sustainability. The RBSK scheme is already operational, giving health assistance for early identification and early intervention to children from birth to 18 years of age.
�Through this move, we plan to facilitate the linking of RBSK with the child care institutions of the State so that these children who generally stay out of community reach, are not deprived. Details of such institutions will soon be given to the NHM to set the scheme rolling,� Sunita Changkakati, ASCPCR Chairperson said.