UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday launched the Child Health Screening and Early Intervention Services programme, aimed at providing comprehensive care to children in the country.
Gandhi launched the ambitious programme, expected to cover around 27 crore children below 18 years in a phased manner, at this tribal tehsil in Thane district.
"I am happy that this project is being launched from here and I congratulate all of you," Gandhi said speaking at the launch function.
"Children are the future of the country. Their well-being is our concern. That is why the Congress-led government has started such programmes," she said.
"It has been an endeavour of our government that there should be no shortage of funds for public health schemes," she said adding the eradication of polio is a big achievement.
The programme is an initiative of the National Rural Health Mission of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. The objective is to improve the overall quality of life of children through early detection of birth defects, diseases, deficiencies, development delays, including disability.
Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad and Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan were present at the launch ceremony, which saw hundreds of school children in attendance.
A set of 30 common health conditions in children have been identified for screening and further management. These services are built on the existing school health services and these services will be provided through dedicated mobile health teams placed in every block.
Early identification of select health conditions and their linkage to care, support and treatment, under Child Health Screening and Early Intervention Services is expected to achieve equitable child health care, a senior official said.