National Urban Health Mission launched

PTI| Updated: Jan 20, 2014, 21:48 PM IST
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Bangalore: The ambitious National Urban Health Mission (NUHM), aimed at providing adequate and efficient urban public health delivery system for the urban poor, was launched here today.

Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad formally launched the nationwide scheme, saying it would cover 779 urban areas with over 50,000 population by March 2015 across the country.

In Karnataka, it was launched at select cities, including Bangalore, Mangalore and Mysore, Ullal and Bagalkot.

The central government will share 80 per cent of the cost to implement the programme, Azad said.

He said Primary Health Centres, sub-centres and referral units would be strengthened in urban areas and be manned by Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANMs).

"These centres will be visited by mobile health check-up vans which will have two doctors, two nurses and a pharmacist," he said.

It is estimated that the NUHM will cover a population of over 220 million people, of which an estimated 77.5 million are poor and vulnerable, the minister said.

The scheme also aims at giving more thrust to sanitation, clean drinking water, vector control and other related issues.

 Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the scheme would benefit migrant labourers, slum-dwellers, rag pickers and other marginalised sections of society.

He also announced that the government will set up dialysis centres in each taluk in the state.

Karnataka Health Minister U T Khadar said as many as 49 health kiosks (35 for Bangalore, 5 each for Mysore and Mangalore and 4 for Ullal town) would be set up.

Health kiosks, to be operated by nurse, would provide free facilities like Blood Pressure check up, blood sugar check up and basic medicines to people under Below Poverty Line. Besides, eight mobile urban health units will be operated, Khadar said.

To implement NUHM in the state, the government approved addition of 126 medical officers and 396 auxiliary nursing midwives. About 1,530 ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activists) workers will be engaged and 1,539 Mahila Arogya Samitis formed, Khadar said.

He also inaugurated "Nagu Magu" ambulance service scheme, which shifts pregnant women to hospital and back to home. Ten such ambulances will be pressed into service.

Khadar said the state plans to enhance honorarium of ASHAs to Rs 2,500.