Adolescent Health Programme Launched

To address the health needs of the 243 million adolescents, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad on Tuesday launched the Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK).

Published: 09th January 2014 07:47 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th January 2014 07:47 AM   |  A+A-

To address the health needs of the 243 million adolescents, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad on Tuesday launched the Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK).

Azad said that the programme will bring in several new healthcare dimensions, which he listed as mental health, nutrition, substance abuse, gender-based violence and non-communicable diseases. He said so far the efforts have been partial, confined to sexual and reproductive health, that too at select government facilities.

He said the programme introduces community-based interventions through peer educators, and is underpinned by collaborations with other Ministries and State governments, knowledge partners and more research.

Referring to the strategic approach to RMNCH +A(Reproductive, Maternal, New born, Child Health + Adolescent) in which ‘A’ denotes adolescents, unveiled last year at Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu, the Health Minister said new focus on adolescents is in recognition of the fact that without focus on it, milestones in maternal and child healthcare may continue to elude us.

The RKSK recognises that all adolescents need attention even before the occurrence of any disease or problem, in order to make informed decisions and choices.

Highlighting the salient features of the programme and the need for an enhanced and sharper focus on adolescents, Anuradha Gupta, Mission Director, NRHM, said lifestyle and behavior-related diseases such as substance abuse, inflicting self harm, tendency towards gender-based violence, low nutrition and physical inactivity, which begin and occur more during this phase, are fast becoming the causes for the highest mortality in this age group. She stated that in the coming years in the developing countries, seven out of 10 deaths will be due to non-communicable diseases.

The RKSK programme defines an adolescent boy or girl in urban and rural areas as a married/unmarried person within 10-19 years of age, irrespective of whether they are in school or a dropout.  This broad definition helps to address problems of adolescents across various categories, she added.



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