The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, under the National Health Mission launched the
Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK), an innovative and ambitious initiative, which envisages Child
Health Screening and Early Intervention Services, a systemic approach of early identification and link to
care, support and treatment.
Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) is one of its kind program to improve the overall quality of life of children enabling all children
achieve their full potential; and also provide comprehensive care to all the children in the community. This program involves screening of
children from birth to 18 years of age for 4 Ds- Defects at birth, Diseases, Deficiencies and Development delays, spanning 32 common health
conditions for early detection and free treatment and management, including surgeries at tertiary level. Children diagnosed with identified
selected health conditions are provided early intervention services and follow-up care at the district level. These services are provided
free of cost, thus helping their families reduce out of pocket expenditure incurred on the treatment.
To facilitate screening of children, there is a strong convergence with the Ministry of Women and Child Development for screening children
the age group 0 – 6 years enrolled at Anganwadi centres and with the Ministry of Human Resource Development for screening the children
enrolled in Government and Government aided schools. The newborn is screened for birth defects in health facilities by the doctors at health
facilities and during the home visit by ASHA (peripheral health worker).
The task is gigantic but quite possible, through the systematic approach that RBSK envisages. It would yield rich dividends in protecting and
promoting the health of our children, when implemented in right earnest.