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More Than 1.3 Crore Screened for NCDs at HWCs

A total of 13,384,332 women and men, thirty years of age and above have been screened for common Non-Communicable Diseases at Health and Wellness Centers, the Health Ministry said. The first Health and Wellness Center under Ayushman Bharat was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Jangla in Bijapur Chhattisgarh on April 14, 2018. Since then 10,252 HWCs have been operationalized. Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala lead the way with the highest number of HWCs under Ayushman Bharat. Andhra Pradesh has operationalized 1361 HWCs, Tamil Nadu 1318, UP 912, Karnataka 700 and Kerala 678 HWCs, an official statement here said. The National Health Policy, 2017 recommended strengthening the delivery of primary healthcare, through establishment of Health and Wellness Centers as the platform to deliver Comprehensive Primary Healthcare. Ayushman Bharat has two components which are complementary to each other. Under its first component, 150,000 existing Sub-Health Centers and Primary Health Centers will be transformed to Health & Wellness Centers to deliver Comprehensive Primary Healthcare, that is universal and free to users, with a focus on wellness and the delivery of an expanded range of services close to the community.

The wide range of services provided at these Health and Wellness Centers will encompass maternal and child health services, communicable and non-communicable diseases, services for the elderly and palliative care including free essential drugs and diagnostic services, it said. An expanded range of services will be provided at the HWCs, with the level of complexity of care at the PHC being higher than at that at SHC. States will also have the flexibility to expand the service package to address problems of local importance as defined by disease prevalence and community feedback. In the urban context, the Urban Primary Health Centers or Urban Health Posts where they exist, would be strengthened to deliver comprehensive primary healthcare. The norm of One Multipurpose worker MPW-(F) per 10,000 population supported by four-five ASHAs, will enable outreach services, preventive and promotive care and home and community-based services, it added. Therefore, in the urban context, the team of ANM and ASHA would be considered to equivalent to a frontline provider team with the first point of referral being the UPHC catering to about at 50,000 populations. The training program is being rolled out through IGNOU and state specific public, health universities. At least 133 IGNOU Program Study Centers in various district hospitals and 90 other PSCs under the state specific Certificate Programs in the state of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and West Bengal have been notified, taking the total of Program Study Centers to 223 PSCs across the country. Ayushman Bharat is India’s path to Universal Health Coverage. It signifies a move from selective healthcare to the delivery of a comprehensive range of services spanning preventive, promotive, curative rehabilitative and palliative care. – United News of India

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