UP working on `Guarantee To Health` scheme for children

Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh government is working on an ambitious project under the National Rural Health Mission (NHRM) to give "complete and sustained healthcare" to about 7.3 million poor and deprived children in the state, an official said.

The project, Guarantee to Health (GTH), will cover children aged 2-14 and is likely to be unveiled on Independence Day, August 15. It will be launched with the `Haq Se Maango` (Demand Your Rights) credo.

The age group has been selected, an official said, because it requires healthcare support most. Children under two years are covered under other health schemes and as per the law, boys and girls over 14 are considered adolescents.

A comprehensive road map is being prepared to "make the best use of the budget to improve healthcare in the state," sources privy to preparing the project draft told IANS.

Once the scheme is implemented, children in schools and madrassas of the state would be given medicines, vaccinations, ultrasound facilities and pathological tests free of cost. The project would also cover children of labourers and those belonging to nomadic tribes who keep moving from one place to another.

Health Minister Ahmad Hasan is keen on strengthening preventive mechanism for most diseases at the primary level and that the health of children born in the state would be given top priority under GTH, a health official said.

Under GTH, a new and value-added version of an earlier healthcare programme `Vidyalaya Swasthya Karyakram,` children would be issued smart health cards with personal information such as blood group, height, weight and body mass index, among others.

A unified toll-free number will be given to the parents to lodge complaints about non-delivery of services.

The government would be offering "pick and drop" facilities to children going to hospitals for treatment or pathological and radiological tests, the health official added.

Mukesh Kumar Meshram, mission director of the NHRM, said that under the project a health chart will be prepared at all district health centres. These centres will be equipped with dedicated medical teams and ambulances, he added.