Maharashtra’s four districts — Washim, Gadchiroli, Osmanabad and Nandurbar — have launched a community-based assessment programme under the NITI Aayog’s transformation of aspirational districts programme.
As part the initiative, ASHA workers will conduct door-to-door survey of families, to collect information about non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and other ailments.
Sanjeev Kumar, commissioner, National Health Mission (Maharashtra), told The Indian Express that they had already identified primary healthcare centres at the four districts, which have been transformed as health and wellness centres. “We have to ensure that each pregnant woman and child is immunised. The health and wellness centres will screen local villagers for NCDs,” Kumar said.
Dr Sanjeev Kamble, Director of Health, Maharashtra, said, “Local ayurvedic medicine practitioners with a BAMS degree will also be appointed at the sub-centres, which cater to more than 1000 people.”
Dr Shashikant Shambharkar, District Health Officer, Gadchiroli, said ASHA workers were provided required training and given a checklist to identify villagers suffering from diabetes, hypertension, cancer, mental health issues, or were addicted to tobacco and alcohol. A district health official at Akola circle said they had also identified five primary health centres, which will be upgraded as health and wellness centres.
An official at the State Family Welfare Bureau in Pune said the Extended Gram Swaraj campaign has been underway as part of the transformation of aspirational districts programme. District health officials have been directed to ensure cent per cent registration of pregnant women across villages in the four districts between June 1 and August 15. Instructions have also been issued for raising awareness about home-based post-natal care to prevent infant deaths.
Meanwhile, the NITI Aayog has also announced that the 101 aspirational districts identified as part of the programme, will be ranked on the basis of their development. The villages will be competing with each other in terms of performance and will be ranked on 49 indicators based on various data points.
The 49 indicators include health and nutrition, education, agriculture and water resources, financial inclusion and skill development and basic infrastructure. A health official said, apart from development in the four identified aspirational districts in Maharashtra, the programme will also help the government reach out to tribal areas such as Melghat in Amravati and Palghar.