New Delhi, Jan 7 (IANS) The Indian government Tuesday launched a comprehensive programme to improve the health of adolescents, who comprise over 21 percent of the over 121 crore population, in the country with a focus on community-based interventions.
The Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (National Adolescent Health Programme), launched by union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad here, will comprehensively address the health needs of the 243 million adolescents.
The programme envisions that all adolescents health programme in India are able to realize their full potential by making informed and responsible decisions related to their health and well-being.
The programme defines an adolescent as a person within 10-19 years of age, in urban and rural areas, includes both girls and boys, married and unmarried, poor and affluent, whether they are in school or out of school.
A crucial part of the outreach programme is to have an “adolescent-friendly” health clinic in every district of the country, offering a range of clinical services, including contraceptives.
“Many of these conditions have a beginning in adolescence and this programme aims to improve health outcomes by investing in adolescent health today,” Gupta said. “This is a priority area for the ministry. The large and increasing share of adolescents and youth in India’s population can translate into a demographic dividend only if policies and programmes focus on their health and well-being.”