Chandigarh, February 10 – Haryana has become the first state in the country to implement ‘Rashtriya Kishore Swasthya Karyakram’ (RKSK). Haryana Health Minister, Rao Narender Singh today launched the first phase of this programme which will be implemented in six districts of the State.


          While launching RKSK in a state level function today, Rao Narender Singh said that the programme will be implemented in Ambala, Panchkula, Karnal, Yamunanagar, Hathin block of Pawal and Nuh block of Mewat in the first phase.      


          On this occasion, Rao Narender Singh also launched ‘Menstrual Hygiene Scheme’ which will be implemented in seven districts namely Jind, Hisar, Sirsa, Sonipat, Bhiwani, Karnal and Mewat in the first phase. With a view to make this scheme a success, Indian Hockey Player Rani Rampal has been made the brand ambassador. The Health Minister appreciated Rani Rampal for voluntarily joining this scheme.


          Rao Narender Singh said that the way country has achieved success in becoming polio free, Haryana would be made anemia free. He said that until state is made anemia free, the UN Millennium Development Goals could not be achieved. The Health Minister said that Haryana has taken the initiative to implement RKSK which has been started about a month ago by Union Health Ministry and for this, officers of Health Department deserve high compliments.


          He said that ‘Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram’ is a statewide programme which aims at improving health of adolescents and fulfilling their physical growth needs. The scheme has six priority objectives namely Enable Reproductive and Sexual Health, Improve Nutrition, Enhance Mental Health, Injuries and Violence, including Domestic and Gender based Violence, Substance Misuse and Non-Communicable Diseases.


          Under the programme, four Peer Educators including adolescent two boys and two girls would be identified in every village with population of 1000 people and trained by doctors on adolescent health issues. They would further conduct meetings with adolescent boys and girls of their villages to generate awareness on these health issues. For this, the Peer Educators would be paid incentive amounting to Rs 150 per month, he added.


          Apart from this, Adolescent Health Day would be organized quarterly in every village for the adolescent target groups and weekly iron and folic acid supplementation, sanitary napkins, albendazole tablets etc would be distributed to  the adolescents. 


          Rao Narender Singh said that under Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health (ARSH), Kishore Mitrata Clinics have been set up in general hospitals of all districts for providing counseling and referral services to adolescents.


          He said that such clinics would be further strengthened under RKSK and would also be set up in Sub-Health Centres, Community Health Centres and Primary Health Centres.


          Similarly, under the Menstrual Hygiene Scheme, adolescent girls would be encouraged to adopt sanitary napkins in place of unhygienic and traditional methods with the help of ASHA workers. He said that ASHA workers would hold meetings with adolescent girls every month at Aanganwadi Centres and Panchayat Bhawans and make them aware about use of sanitary napkins.


          He said that each ASHA worker would be given Rs 50 per meeting through ANM for this work. Under the scheme, girls would get sanitary napkins at affordable price of Rs six per pack and for sale of sanitary napkin through ASHA workers, they would get incentive amounting to Rs one per pack.


          The Health Minister said that adolescent is a phase characterized by acceleration of physical growth and, psychological and behavioral changes thus bringing about transformation from childhood to adulthood. Rao Narender Singh has urged the media for cooperation and to make people aware about this scheme. Haryana State has nearly 55 lakh adolescent population who are the future of this state, he added.


          On this occasion, the Health Minister also released booklets on Menstrual Hygiene Scheme and Adolescent Health Education.


          Principal Secretary, Health, Mrs. Navraj Sandhu, Mission Director, National Rural Health Mission, Dr. Rakesh Gupta and Deputy Commissioner (Adolescent Heath), Union Ministry for Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Sushma Dureja also spoke on this occasion.