In India, Adolescents between age of 10 and 19 years account for nearly one fifth of the total population. In order to respond effectively to the needs of adolescent health and development, it is imperative to situate adolescence in a life span perspective within dynamic Psychological, sociological, Cultural and economic realities with better health in order to prepare them for further productive youths.
In this regard Ministry of health and Family Welfare has developed a comprehensive strategy, Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram and launched in January, 2014. The six strategic priorities being nutrition, sexual and reproductive health, Non-Communicable Diseases, substance misuse, injuries & violence and mental health.
This activity is being implemented in Tamilnadu since 2014-15 in 9 high priority districts as first phase. In the year 2017-18 the programme has been extended to 10 more districts in the State. Therefore, this programme is being implemented in 19 districts. 4093 villages hae been covered in this programme so far.
Peer educators are selected as 4 per VHSNC and they are trained regarding adolescent health. Adolescent health Club meetings is conducted in sub centres with support from trained Village Health Nurses (VHNs). Adolescent Health Day is conducted by VHSNC once in 3 months. 442 Adolescent Friendly Health Clinics (AFHCs) have been established so far. 220143 (Apr’19 to Mar’ 20) adolescents have received clinical services and 221807 adolescents have received counseling services in these AFHCs.
The success of RKSK could be viewed in the active participation of community peer groups and effective functioning of the Weekly Iron Folic Acid Supplementation (WIFS) and Menstrual Hygiene Scheme (MHS) in schools and Anganwadi centres.
Weekly Iron Folic Acid Supplementation (WIFS)
The programme involves distribution of one Iron and Folic Acid (IFA) tablet a week to all adolescent girls and boys (10 to 19 years of age), both in school and out of school along with biannual de-worming (February and August every year). The IFA and de-worming tablet would be distributed through the school for school going students and through field health functionaries for non-school going girls and boys. Total number children benefitted from April 2019 to Mar 2020 is 469,21,821.
Menstrual Hygiene Scheme
The Programme increases the awareness about menstrual hygiene among rural adolescent girls. The Scheme also increases access to & normalize use of quality sanitary napkins at affordable prices in rural adolescent girls. It also gives importance to ensure safe disposal of sanitary napkins in an environment friendly manner.