Health is an important determinant of economic and social development. Recognising the significance of health, to improve the quality of life of citizens, the government of India has launched the National Rural Health Mission in April, 2005 to provide integrated comprehensive primary healthcare services, especially to poor and vulnerable sections of the society i.e. the poor, women and children.
This is seven year mission (2005-12) launched with a mandate to address the innumerable infirmities across the domain of healthcare. The mission also aims to bridge the gap in the rural healthcare through increased community ownership, decentralization of the programmes to the district level, improving primary health care.
The mission also aims to achieve the goal of the National Population Policy through improved, access to affordable, accountable and reliable primary health care. The National Rural Health Mission has been launched with the following goals and objectives
(i) Reduction to Infant Mortality Rate upto 30/ 1000 live births by 2012.
(ii) Maternal Mortality Rate to be reduced upto 100/100000 live births by 2012
(iii) Total Fertility Rate to be reduced to 2.1 by 2012
(iv) Malaria Mortality Reduction by 50% upto 2010.
(v) Elimination of Kala Azar by 2015.
(vi) Dengue Mortality Reduction Rate 50% by 2012.
(vii) Reducing Leprosy prevalence rate from 1.8% per 10000 in 2005 to less than 1% thereafter.
(viii) Cataract operation to increase upto 46 lakh per anum.
(ix) Maintaining 85% cure rate in the TB DOTS programme through entire Mission period. Apart from these targets, prevention and control of communicable and non communicable diseases, improving in primary healthcare services, population stabilization, gender and demographic balance, revitalizing the traditional health care system, promoting AYUSH and healthy life styles are other important objectives of the mission.
The National Rural Health Mission also seeks to provide effective health care to rural population throughout the country with special focus on 18 states which have weak public health indicators and infrastructure. It has also emphasized to rise the, public spending on health from 0.9% of GDP to 2.3% of GDP. It also aims at effective integration of health concerns with determinants of health like sanitation, hygiene, nutrition, and safe drinking water through a district plan-for health.