RKSK (Adolescent Health)



Adolescence (10-19 years) is a phase of life which has recently gained recognition as a distinct phase of life with its own special needs. This phase is characterized by acceleration of physical growth and, psychological and behavioral changes thus bringing about transformation from childhood to adulthood. Priority Health Problems of adolescents are Sexual and reproductive health problems Nutritional problems, Substance abuse, Injuries and accidents, Acute and chronic diseases (like asthma, TB, Diabetes, etc.)
The health situation of this age group is a key determinant of country’s overall health, mortality, morbidity and population growth scenario. Therefore, investments in adolescent reproductive and sexual health will yield dividends in terms of delaying age at marriage, reducing incidence of teenage pregnancy, meeting unmet contraception need, reducing the maternal mortality, reducing STI incidence and reducing HIV prevalence. It will also help country to realize its demographic dividends, as healthy adolescents are an important resource for the economy.

Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK)

In order to ensure holistic development of adolescent population, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK) on 7th January 2014 to reach out to 253 million adolescents. Haryana State became the first State to launch this Programme on 10th Feb 2014. The adolescent population of the State is nearly 54 lacs. The number of adolescents (age 10-19) is increasing and comprises about 21% of the population. The six priority objectives of programme are Enable Reproductive and Sexual Health, Improve Nutrition, Enhance Mental Health, Injuries and Violence, including Domestic and Gender Based Violence, Substance Misuse, Non-Communicable Diseases. To achieve these objectives following services are being provided:-

·       Facility based services through Adolescent Friendly Health Clinics(AFHCs): Trained Doctors and Counselors and Health workers provide curative and counseling services  in AFHCs named Mitrata clinics in the state which are established at District Hospitals, Sub-divisional hospitals, CHCs and  PHCs during Hospital Timings.

·       Community based services through Peer Educators and Adolescent Health Day: The Peer Educator programme aims to ensure that adolescents benefit from regular and sustained peer education covering all the six priority objectives.  4 Adolescents (1 boy and 1 girl) in the age group of 15-19 yrs on 1000 population of selected villages are identified and are trained on adolescent health issues by Health service providers. These PEs further conduct meetings with adolescent boys and girls of their villages to generate awareness on various health issues. They also refer the adolescents to Adolescent Friendly Health clinics. They are given non-financial incentive of Rs.50 per month for conducting meetings with adolescents in their villages.

The Adolescent Health Day (AHD) is organized in selected villages once in a quarter on a convenient day at School, Anganwari Centers or community spaces. During AHDs, General health check-up of adolescents (BMI, anemia etc.) is carried out. Various “infotainment” activities such as skits, plays, etc. are also organized to generate awareness among adolescents.

·       Weekly Iron Folic Acid Supplementation Programme (WIFS):- Administration of weekly Iron Folic Acid supplementation (WIFS Blue Tablet) to control anemia in all Govt. School students (both boys & girls) of 6th-12th class & out of school girls registered at AWCs. Every Monday one WIFS blue tablet is given to targeted beneficiary in direct supervision of teacher and Anganwadi worker. Since FY 2020-21, program was also started in 6th-12th class Private schools students of Panchkula & Yamunanagar districts on pilot basis. In FY 2022-23, program is expanded in more private schools of Ambala, Karnal & Panipat districts along with all Govt. school students and out of school adolescent girls.

·       Under National Deworming Day:- a fixed approach for mass deworming of all 1-19 years children is being done through the platform of schools and Anganwadi centres. Bi-annual de-worming is done by administration of Tab. Albendazole in the months of February and August. Since FY 2020-21, non-pregnant & non-lactating married women of 20-24 years are also being dewormed.

·       Menstrual Hygiene Scheme (MHS):- low cost Sanitary napkins are being provided to rural adolescent girls of 10-19 years, through ASHA workers. Each sanitary packet (of 6 pads) is being sold at the rate of Rs. 6/-. ASHA gets incentives of Rs. 1/- of each sold packet, Rs. 50/- for monthly meetings and one free packet for personal use.

School Health & Wellness Programme

·       Schools play a critical role in helping students establish lifelong healthy behaviours. Recognizing the importance of this, school based health promotion activities have been incorporated as a part of the Health and Wellness component of the Ayushman Bharat Programme. School Health & Wellness Programme is being implemented since FY 2020-21 in government and government aided schools in all the 22 districts. Two teachers, in every school, designated as “Health and Wellness Ambassadors” are trained to transact with school children, health promotion and disease prevention information on 11 thematic areas in the form of interesting joyful interactive activities for one hour every week.