New Delhi, May 27 The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Wednesday categorised RMNCAH+N activities in the essential services category.
These activities are related to pregnancy care management, newborn care and childhood illness management, immunisation services, management of severe acute malnutrition in children, family planning services, comprehensive abortion care services and adolescent health services as essential.
The Ministry said that in addition to priority to health facilities and healthcare workers, it is also vital that essential health services for vulnerable population like this segment are continued during the pandemic.
In the guidelines ‘Provision of Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent Health Plus Nutrition (RMNCAH+N) services during and post COVID-19 Pandemic’, the Ministry said any area exiting in ‘containment/buffer zone’ can start RMNCAH+N activities as listed in ‘areas beyond buffer zone’ after a minimum gap of 14 days following delisting.
Similarly, an area entering a ‘containment and buffer zone’ should restrict these activities immediately.
The Ministry said that COVID-19 testing is not mandatory for RMNCAH+N service.
“Drugs, commodities needed for continuing the RMNCAH+N services, should be treated as essential commodities. Home deliveries of essential medicines like IFA, Calcium, ORS, Zinc, contraceptives etc can be organized in the containment zone,” it said.
The Health Ministry said the campaign-mode servicing like mass vitamin prophylaxis, Campaigns for Intensified Diarrhoea Control Fortnight (IDCF), National Deworming Day (NDD) and Test Treat and Talk (T3) camps for anaemia could be provided on an alternative mechanism like through home delivery of essential services and commodities etc based on local situation.
The Ministry asserted that critical services for women, children and adolescents should be provided irrespective of their COVID-19 status and under no circumstances should there be a denial of essential services.