The Reproductive Maternal Newborn Child Health + Adolescence
(RMNCH+A) Strategy – An Introduction
The RMNCH+A strategy are holistic in design encompassing all interventions aimed at Reproductive, Maternal, New Born, Child and Adolescent Health under one broad umbrella. Rolled out by Government of India in 2013 the strategy focuses on the Strategic Life Cycle Approach and is based on the Continuum of Care Concept. The strategy promotes and provides for inter-linkages between different interventions at various stages of the life cycle and facilitates linking of child survival to other inventions such as reproductive health, family planning, maternal health. The strategy has a sharp focus on adolescents, recognizing nurses as ‘pivots’ for service delivery and potentiates expanding focus on child development and quality of life.
The strategy is built on the need for prioritizing high impact interventions across the five thematic areas in specifically identified geographical locations across the country. A review of available data very well establishes the fact that the country has huge inter-state and inter-district variations as far as health indices are concerned. Poor performing blocks and pockets also exist in the good performing states of the country. Corroborating with available evidence, Government of India has identified 184 High Priority Districts (HPDs) in the country for focused interventions to accelerate the progress towards achieving Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 and also the health related targets enlisted in the 12th Five Year Plan. To facilitate the process of reaching the set goals and targets, Government of India has also prioritized high impact interventions across the thematic areas of reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health as identified in the “5x5 matrix”. Three major intervention points in the State include identifying Deputy Commissioners as mentors for implementing the Strategy in the identified districts, harmonizing technical assistance of Development Partners and involving Medical Colleges, Academic and research institutes for support and guidance to the districts. To coordinate this strategy, Government of India has identified State Lead Partners for each of these 29 states.
Jharkhand is one of the focus states in the country critical to the implementation and realization of this strategy. As a part of this strategy GOI has identified 11 such HPDs namely Dumka, Godda, Gumla, Latehar, Lohardaga, Pakur, Palamu, Sahibganj, Seraikella-Kharsawan, Simdega and West Singhbhum in Jharkhand. To fast track the implementation of the RMNCH+A strategy in Jharkhand; The Department of Health, Medical Education and Family Welfare, Government of Jharkhand (GOJ) in collaboration with USAID (the State Lead Partner for Jharkhand) organized the “State Consultation for Intensification and Harmonization of efforts in High Priority Districts for improved Maternal and Child Health outcomes”, at Ranchi, on 19thJuly 2013. Following on District RMNCH+A orientation workshops have been completed in all the 11 HPDs of the State.