GUWAHATI, Oct 24 - To encourage active participation and improve attendance of pregnant women, lactating mothers, children and eligible couples at the Village Health Nutrition and Sanitation Days (VHSNDs), the Bongaigaon district administration has started a new initiative called Swastha Samriddhi Samaroh.
Launched earlier this month to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the initiative is the brainchild of Bongaigaon Deputy Commissioner Adil Khan. VHSNDs are organised at the village Anganwadi centres once every month on a designated Wednesday.
�This day has emerged as an interaction day between community and services providers from the health and nutrition system as well as a platform for providing essential services to the local community. On the designated day, Anganwadi workers, ASHAs and other frontline workers mobilise the villagers, especially women and children, to gather at the nearest Anganwadi centre. VHSNDs allow villagers to interact freely with the frontline workers and avail basic services and information,� Khan told The Assam Tribune.
�To attract more people, especially pregnant women, mothers and children, to the VHSND events, the district administration is turning it into a celebration of good health. This is to continue the momentum generated by Poshan Maah and to increase the participation in VHSNDs. Cultural programmes on themes on health and nutrition are organised by health and other workers to attract people and make them aware about relevant matters,� he said.
The Poshan Maah was organised in Bongaigaon district from September 1 to 30. �After the end of Poshan Maah, the district administration, in association with the district Social Welfare department and the Health and Family Welfare department, celebrated VHSND and launched the new initiative of Swastha Samriddhi Samaroh,� Khan said.
VHSND is a government initiative to improve access to maternal newborn and child health, nutrition and sanitation services at the village level across India.
Khan said various health-related messages have been delivered through cultural events by the frontline workers at the platform of Swastha Samriddhi Samaroh. VHSNDs will be now be celebrated as Swastha Samriddhi Samaroh every Wednesday at scheduled sites of all rural and urban areas where issues like child marriage, adolescent health and menstruation hygiene, among others, will also be discussed.
On October 23, VHSND and Swastha Samriddhi Samaroh were celebrated under the Boitamari block public health centre at Moligaon Anganwadi centre and at Bashbari Anganwadi centre.
�We want all the stakeholders to cooperate in Swastha Samriddhi Samaroh events so that each pregnant women and lactating mother receives quality antenatal care and postnatal care and each child receives all scheduled vaccines and other services on time,� Khan said.
VHSNDs were also organised at Meshpara sub-centre, Mautara health wellness centre, Dhaknabari sub-centre, Khoragaon health wellness centre and Balarchar health wellness centre. Special focus was given on antenatal check-up of pregnant women, immunization and vaccination of children, family planning services to eligible couples, administration of iron syrup to control anaemia among children in the age group of 6 to 59 months and awareness on health by the Department of Health and Family Welfare in coordination with the Social Welfare department.