RKSK (Adolescent Health)

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Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram- RKSK Programme Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has launched a new adolescent health programme in Jan 2014– Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK) which was earlier run as Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health (ARSH) Programme. The main objective of the Programme is to improve the health and well being of adolescents.

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.)

Haryana State became the first State to launch this Programme on 10th Feb 2014. The adolescent population of the State is as nearly 55 lacs. The number of adolescents (age 10-19) is increasing and comprises over one-fifth of the population. It is important that we engage with them and match their expectations by addressing an entire gamut of evolving needs of an emerging generation of adolescents in the state. We all know that adolescent health and development is the key to achieving improved health and development outcomes for the population as a whole. The strategy of RKSK is to achieve six priority objectives:

  • Enable Reproductive and Sexual Health,
  • Improve Nutrition,
  • Enhance Mental Health,
  • Injuries and Violence, including Domestic and Gender Based Violence,
  • Substance Misuse,
  • Non-Communicable Diseases.

Following Services are being provided to the adolescents under this Programme:-

  • Adolescent Friendly Health Clinics: Trained Doctors and Counselors and Health workers provide curative and counseling services in Adolescent Friendly Health Clinics (AFHCs) named Mitrata clinics in the state at 21 District Hospital, 14 Sub-divisional hospitals, 1 in SHKM Medical Colleges, Nalhar, Mewat, 104 CHCs and 280 PHCs during Hospital Timings.
  • Peer Educator Approach: The Peer Educator programme aims to ensure that adolescents or young people between the ages of 10-19 years benefit from regular and sustained peer education covering all the six priority objectives. This is eventually expected to improve life skills, knowledge and aptitude of adolescents. This Peer Education (PE) approach is used in the villages of the State wherein 4 Adolescents (1 boy and 1 girl) in the age group of 15-19 yrs on 1000 population of every village are identified and are trained on adolescent health issues by Health Officials. These PEs further conduct meetings with adolescent boys and girls of their villages to generate awareness on these health issues. They also refer the adolescents to Adolescent Friendly Health clinics being run at district hospitals, CHCs and PHCs.
    Presently, 13401 Peer educators (PEs) at village level have been identified and are trained in adolescent health issues and communication skill. They are given non financial incentive of Rs.50 per month for conducting meetings with adolescents in their villages.
  • Quarterly Adolescent Health Day (AHD): The Adolescent Health Day (AHD) is organized in every village once in every quarter on a convenient day (preferably on a Sunday) following the Village Health and Nutrition Day; Anganwari Centers or community spaces are to be used as venues for organizing the AHD. During an AHD, services to be offered to all the adolescent target groups (male/female; 10-14 and 15-19 age; school going, drop out; and married adolescents). On Adolescent Health Day (AHD) Sanitary Napkins, IFA, Albendazole, anti-spasmodic tablets and contraceptives will be provided to all the adolescents. Apart from this general health check-up, (BMI, anemia and diabetes). Various “infotainment” activities such as skits, plays, puppet shows etc are also organized.
  • Weekly Iron Folic Acid Supplementation Programme (WIFS): Administration of weekly Iron Folic Acid supplementation (WIFS Tablet) to eradicate 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. Bi-annual de-worming is also done by administration of Tab. Albendazole in the months of February and August. Menstrual Hygiene Scheme (MHS): Provision of low cost Sanitary napkins for rural adolescent girls of 10-19 years, through ASHA workers.