Doda (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], Dec 2 : Better health is central to human happiness and well-being. It also makes an important contribution to economic progress, as a healthy population lives longer, is more productive, and saves more.
Underlining the importance of having a healthy population, the Centre is providing free medical services to people under its National Rural Health Mission.
This is visible in Jammu and Kashmir's Doda district, where, pregnant women living in remote areas, are accessing free medical facilities provided by the government.
"In this NRHM scheme, we conduct anti-needle check-ups for pregnant ladies at least thrice a month. First, we do a registration as soon a pregnant lady comes to us, then we issue an MCP (Mother Child Protection) card to these women.
In the first procedural check-up, we give tetanus injection for immunization and we also distribute folic acid, iron and calcium tablets to them," said Manzoora Kousar, Block Medical Officer, Doda.
Besides the zero-cost treatment, the conceiving ladies also get free medicines, meals and an ambulance service among other facilities.
Patients are also provided a booklet 'My Safe Motherhood' to gain knowledge about safe and healthy practices that are to be followed during pregnancy.
The women are also given guidelines on diet and health regimen to be followed by the doctors to ensure both mother and child are healthy.
"We have been here for six days and are being provided with free medicines, food and doctors for regular check-up.
Transportation will also be provided and we just want to say that it is a very noble scheme," said Akhter Hussain, a relative of a pregnant woman.
"I have been admitted here for five days. We have access to all facilities here, including medicines and glucose. Doctors are diligent on their rounds and check up on the patients regularly," said Mahira Jaan, another patient.
In addition to this, under the Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan scheme, patients visit the doctors on the ninth day of each month for a free medical check-up to keep a track of their vitals.
Family planning guidelines and post-natal check-ups are also provided to the patients by government health centers.
NRHM is a sub-mission under the National Health Mission that was approved in May 2013. Under the scheme, states enjoy the flexibility to plan and implement action plans according to the requirements of their health sector.
"This scheme is benefitting the patients a lot. As a part of the Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan scheme, all the health centres on the ninth of every month provide free medical tests to pregnant ladies.
We keep a track of their Haemoglobin, special attention is given to patients who are anaemic and those suffering from hypertension.
We detect high-risk pregnancies and get their ultrasound done. Every month we check the patients' progress and provide them with treatment accordingly," said Manzoora Kousar, Block Medical Officer, Doda.
Such schemes will improve the quality of health services being provided to the people, especially those living in far-off areas.