The Centre has allocated about Rs 5,450 cr during 2014-15 ( FY15) for rural children under Reproductive and Children( RCH) flexi pool schemes. Two BJP ruled states with the highest child mortality rate Madhya Pradesh(MP) and Rajasthan received higher allocation compared to FY14 whereas some non BJP states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal got their share reduced.
The State-wise detailed expenditure of funds under reproductive and child health ( RCH Flexi pool) programme for last three years, under NHM shows that the Centre spent Rs 4,710 in 20132-13, Rs 5,281 in 2013-14 and allocations to states went up to Rs 5,450 in 2014-15. The pattern, size and trends clearly indicated that allocations were made to states on the basis of political considerations rather than the actual ground realities in terms of implementations of rural child health schemes.
Out of the four states with the highest child mortality rate, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh got hike in allocations compared to previous year. Rajasthan’s share was up by Rs 90 crore hike in the last fiscal against Rs 295 crore in 2013-14 whereas MP got Rs 382 crore compared to Rs 313 in 2013-14. Uttar Pradesh’s allocation under Flexi pool was reduced from Rs 859 cr in 2013-14 to Rs 766 cr in 2014-15. The state had received Rs 793 cr in 2012-13.
Likewise, Bihar, with high child mortality rate, also received less, Rs 390 cr in 2014-15 compared to Rs 447 crore in 2013-14. Assam also witnessed reduction in its allocation from Rs 417 cr in 2013-14 to Rs 367 cr in the last fiscal.
The other states also witnessed reduction in allocation in 2014-15 include West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. However, Maharashtra was a gainer with allocation went up to Rs 407 cr compared to Rs 372 cr in 2013-14.
However, replying to a query in Parliament on Tuesday, Union Health Minister JP Nadda, said that under National Health Mission (NHM), the provision of health care to children particularly in rural areas is given priority attention.
He emphasised that setting up of facilities for care of sick newborn such as Special New Born Care Units (SNCUs), Newborn Stabilisation Units (NBSUs) and Newborn Care Corners (NBCCs) at different levels is a thrust area under the Mission.
To improve the health of children, the government has implemented several schemes which include Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK), Home Based New Born Care (HBNC),India Newborn Action Plan (INAP),Integrated Action Plan for Pneumonia and Diarrhoea (IAPPD),Mother and Child Tracking System (MCTS),Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK),National Iron Plus Initiative (NIPI) among others.
According to the Health Ministry, Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) covers about 13.5 crore children for vaccination against seven vaccine preventable diseases, through 90 lakh immunization sessions each year.
“To sharpen the focus on vulnerable and marginalized populations in under served areas, 184 High Priority Districts have been identified across the country for implementation of Reproductive Maternal Newborn Child Health+ Adolescent (RMNCH+A) interventions for achieving improved maternal and child health outcomes,” the Minister said.
According to the Minister, the IAPPD has been launched in four states- UP, MP, Bihar and Rajasthan which have the highest child mortality. However, he did not give any reasons for reduction in allocations for ‘some’ states including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal.