Population Foundation of India signs an MOU with State Health Society, Bihar for the implementation of Community Based Planning and Monitoring in three districts

 

A new programme will ensure that in Bihar, people from villages will be able to express their health needs, participate in planning and monitoring the health services to ensure that their entitlements related to health are being met. The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the State Health Society Bihar (SHSB) and Population Foundation of India (PFI), represented by Mr. Sanjay Kumar, Executive Director, SHSB and Ms. Poonam Muttreja, Executive Director, PFI, at Hotel Maurya, Patna, today marked the beginning of this path-breaking initiative for three districts in Bihar.  

 

Addressing a press conference after the MoU was signed, Mr Sanjay Kumar shared that community ownership and participation in management has been seen as a pre-requisite in the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). Community Based Planning and Monitoring (CBPM), he said,  is critical to ensure that responsive and accountable quality health services based on local needs, reach the poor and vulnerable sections of the society. Mr Kumar further elaborated that CBPMplaces , community members, community based organizations, NGOs and Panchayat representatives at centre stage and it allows them to actively and regularly participate in planning and monitoring the progress of NRHM activities in their geographical areas.

 

Ms. Poonam Muttreja highlighted the experiences of PFI in implementing community monitoring in nine states. Ms. Muttreja shared the experience from Maharashtra and Karnataka, where community monitoring over three rounds had shown marked improvements, not just in the status of health services at the village level but also in the utilization of services at the Primary Health Centres (PHCs). She further shared the plans for roll out of CBPM in Bihar. In the current financial year, the State Government plans to initiate CBPM in three districts of Bihar namely Bhagalpur, Darbhanga and Nawada. Five panchayats from two blocks in each of the three districts have been identified to implement the community processes.  The effort will be extended to two additional districts by the year end.

 

PFI functions as the Secretariat for the Advisory Group on Community Action (AGCA), a standing committee constituted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. AGCA is mandated to spearhead the community related initiatives under NRHM at the national level.  The group consists of eminent public health professionals associated with major NGOs. 

 

PFI has been given the responsibility to be the State Nodal-cum-Technical Agency for implementing the CBP&M in the state of Biharand the State Health Society is giving a grant of Rs.1,26,91,500.00 (Rupees one crore twenty six lakhs ninety one thousand five hundred only) to PFI from the NRHM funds. Under this agreement PFI will be responsible for implementing the CBPM in the selected districts of the state. The State Advisory Group on Community Action will advise on additional activities and initiatives to strengthen CBPM in the state. A State Technical Advisory Group (STAG) including members from the government and civil society groups has also been constituted to provide technical support in rolling out the CBPM.

 

 

The first phase of the community based monitoring of health services was initiated through the AGCA with support from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. The project was implemented as a pilot in nine states, viz., Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu for a period of about eighteen months from March 2007 to July 2009.  The Population Foundation of India functioned as the National Secretariat for this project, co-supported by the Centre for Health and Social Justice (CHSJ), New Delhi.

 

The launch of this innovative programme in Bihar by Mr. Sanjay Kumar, State Health Society Bihar is a significant step towards communitization of health services in the state.

 

A leaflet with further information on the CBPM programme is also enclosed.

 

For further information on the CBPM process, please do visit the NRHM website at http://www.nrhmcommunityaction.org/.

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