Centre asks State to get cracking on health plans

Health Ministry expresses concern over tardy progress of schemes, directs four eastern States including Odisha to expedite execution.

Published: 25th February 2017 06:06 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th February 2017 06:06 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: The Centre has asked the State Government to immediately sort out issues related to implementation of national schemes on healthcare and initiate steps for their proper execution at the ground level.

Expressing concern over tardy progress of some schemes including the National Iodine Deficiency Disorder Control Programme (NIDDCP) and National Programme for Prevention and Control of Deafness (NPPCD), the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has directed four eastern States, including Odisha, to pull up socks and deliver.

According to a survey conducted by the Health Ministry, about 9 per cent household don’t have access to iodine salt for which they are suffering from diseases related to Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) whereas 20 per cent households are inadequately iodised.

The States have been directed to complete district IDD surveys and conduct laboratory monitoring of salt for iodine content and urine for urinary iodine excretion as per NIDDCP guidelines as these are most effective tools for proper implementation of the programme.

The Ministry has also instructed to improve the availability and supply of adequately iodised salt in the State and initiate measures to supply it through PDS to BPL families and other low income groups.  

"States have been asked for procurement of salt testing kits, monitoring of consumption of adequately iodised salt, creating awareness about quality of salt by ASHA/Anganwadi workers and strengthening of Information Education Communication (IEC) activities for generating awareness among people to bring IDD prevalence below five per cent,’’ said an official.

Apart from filling up of sanctioned posts including technical officer, statistical assistant, lab technician and assistant, the eastern States have been directed for full utilisation of funds provided under the programme.
For NPPCD, the Centre has asked for the appointment of data entry operators and necessary infrastructure at nodal offices. On the progress of ANM and GNM schools, the Ministry has informed that MoUs for four GNM schools at Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Koraput and Balasore have not been received.   

Other States whose performance is not satisfactory include Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal. The lack of coordination between the Centre and State Governments has been one of the major reasons behind the failure of most welfare schemes. Though adequate funds get allocated for most of the schemes, the funds either remain unspent or are misutilised.

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