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Goal, Benefits and Need of Navjaat Shishu Suraksha Karyakram(NSSK)

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    Navjaat Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (NSSK)

    Navjaat Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (NSSK) is a part of the National Health Mission, which aims to provide accessible, affordable, and quality healthcare services to all individuals, with a specific focus on vulnerable populations.

    The National Health Mission (NHM) is a major initiative launched by the Government of India in 2013. It is designed to strengthen the healthcare system in the country and improve healthcare services for its citizens. The primary goal of the National Health Mission is to provide accessible, affordable, and quality healthcare services to all, especially to vulnerable and underprivileged populations.

    The National Health Mission is an important step towards achieving universal healthcare in India and improving the overall health and well-being of its citizens. It operates in collaboration with various state governments, NGOs, and international organizations to implement its programs and achieve its objectives.

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    NSSK aligns with the overall goals of NHM to improve healthcare delivery and health outcomes across the country.

    The primary objective of NSSK is to reduce infant mortality rates and improve the health outcomes of newborns across the country. It also aims at community engagement and awareness. The program promotes community participation and awareness of newborn and infant care through various communication and outreach activities. It encourages community involvement in creating a supportive environment for newborns and educating families about the importance of early healthcare interventions.

    The program encompasses various components and interventions to ensure comprehensive care, including skilled birth attendance, essential newborn care, sick newborn care units, newborn screening, home-based newborn care, and capacity building for healthcare professionals.

    Through its initiatives, NSSK strives to provide a strong foundation for the health and survival of newborns, enabling them to thrive and contribute to the nation’s future.

    History Of The Scheme

    Navjaat Shishu Suraksha Karyakram was initiated in September 2009 under the leadership of Union Health Minister Gulam Nabi Azad, to reduce the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR). The IMR or Infant Mortality Rate in India in 2012 was 46 per 1000 in rural and 28 in urban areas, down from 66 and 38 in 2003.

    The program sought to equip paramedical staff across various health centres throughout the country with the skills necessary to save both newborns and mothers. Since its inception in 2009, the Government of India has implemented NSSK to enhance the capacity of doctors and nurses in providing essential newborn care during and immediately after birth.

    On November 20th, 2020, as part of the National Newborn Week celebrated from 15th – 21st November 2020, Dr Harsh Vardhan, Hon’ble Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, unveiled the revised training package for NSSK.

    The Goal Of NSSK

    The primary goal of NSSK is to reduce infant mortality rates and improve the health outcomes of newborns and infants in India.

    The program aims to achieve this goal through various interventions and initiatives focused on ensuring the well-being of newborns and infants, especially those from marginalised and disadvantaged backgrounds.

    The health of newborns in the country is important. It is imperative to implement schemes such as Navjaat Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (NSSK) and provide NSSK benefits so that we may be able to steer clear of issues like infant mortality which have plagued the nation for a long time, even though it has reduced now.

    ‘Navjaat Shishu Suraksha’ literally means ‘Protection for the newborn’.

    By addressing these objectives, NSSK aims to improve the overall survival and health outcomes of newborns and infants, reduce infant mortality rates, and bridge healthcare disparities among vulnerable populations in India.

    How Training is Done-

    Under the Navjaat Shishu Suraksha Karyakram, medical personnel receive training to address emergency issues related to newborns who meet the eligibility criteria. This training targets doctors, nurses, and ANMs in low-resource settings where immediate medical assistance is crucial for newborns.

    The objective is to equip the healthcare staff with the necessary knowledge and skills to enhance the quality of service delivery. In response to this need, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched NSSK and developed a simple, scalable training module specifically designed for newborns and their resuscitation in urgent situations. The program focuses on evidence-based knowledge to improve medical assistance immediately after birth. Following the training, healthcare providers are equipped to provide essential care to newborns, identify and manage common complications, stabilise when necessary, and refer or transfer newborns requiring additional interventions. These services are available to newborns who meet the eligibility criteria of Navjaat Shishu Suraksha Karyakram and are present in healthcare facilities that offer NSSK benefits. The training of medical professionals occurs at district hospitals, community health centres, and primary health centres, incorporating the latest scientific methods aimed at significantly reducing the infant mortality ratio and enhancing the quality of life for the future citizens of the country.

    The program aims to ensure that every newborn and infant receives the necessary healthcare services and support for a healthy and prosperous start in life.

    Eligibility For NSSK

    The Navjaat Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (NSSK) is a scheme designed to ensure that healthcare professionals receive proper training to provide emergency services to newborns who meet the eligibility criteria of NSSK.

    The program aims to address various medical complexities that may arise after birth, which can be detrimental to the newborn’s health and survival.

    This will be administered to them via the Navjaat Shishu Suraksha Karyakram benefits. These may be issues such as-

    • preventing hypothermia

    • preventing infection

    • promoting early breastfeeding initiation

    • and basic resuscitation of newborns.

    While exact eligibility requirements may be determined by local healthcare authorities, here are some common factors considered for participation in NSSK:

    1. Newborns and Infants: The program primarily targets newborns and infants up to a certain age. The specific age cutoff may vary based on the particular component of NSSK being accessed, such as sick newborn care units or home-based care.

    2. Socioeconomic Status: NSSK aims to address the healthcare needs of newborns and infants from economically vulnerable and disadvantaged backgrounds. Families from low-income or marginalised communities may be given priority for accessing the program’s services and interventions.

    3. Geographical Coverage: NSSK strives to provide equitable healthcare services across various regions and settings, including both urban and rural areas. Eligibility may be determined based on the location of the healthcare facility and the availability of specific NSSK interventions in that area.

    4. Referrals and Medical Evaluation: In certain cases, eligibility for specific components of NSSK may require referrals from healthcare providers or medical evaluation to determine the suitability and necessity of the intervention. For instance, access to sick newborn care units may require a medical assessment and referral from primary healthcare centres or hospitals.

    The medical staff is eligible to receive the necessary training so that they may be able to perform the necessary procedures and give suitable treatments when health-related complexities arise concerning newborn babies through the Navjaat Shishu Suraksha Karyakram benefits.

    The eligibility criteria for NSSK in India may vary depending on the specific components and interventions under the program. However, in general, the focus of NSSK is to provide comprehensive care for newborns and infants, especially those from marginalized and disadvantaged backgrounds.

    Benefits Of NSSK:

    The Navjaat Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (NSSK) in India provides several benefits aimed at improving the health and well-being of newborns and infants. Here are some key benefits of NSSK:

    1. Ensuring Skilled Birth Attendance: The program aims to ensure that all births are attended by skilled healthcare professionals who can provide appropriate care during childbirth, ensuring a safe and healthy start for newborns.

    2. Enhancing Newborn Care Practices: NSSK promotes essential newborn care practices immediately after birth, such as early initiation of breastfeeding, thermal care, hygiene practices, and providing necessary immunizations. These practices help protect newborns from infections and improve their overall health outcomes.

    3. Providing Care for Sick Newborns: The program focuses on establishing and strengthening Sick Newborn Care Units (SNCUs) in healthcare facilities. SNCUs provide specialised medical care for sick newborns, including those with complications or medical conditions requiring intensive care and treatment.

    4. Promoting Home-Based Newborn Care: NSSK emphasises the expansion of home-based newborn care services, where trained healthcare workers visit newborns and their families at home. This ensures that newborns receive essential care, monitoring, and guidance on various aspects of their health and well-being.

    5. Implementing Newborn Screening: The program supports the implementation of newborn screening programs to identify and address congenital disorders and other health conditions early in a newborn’s life. Early detection and intervention can prevent long-term complications and improve the overall health outcomes of infants.

    6. Capacity Building and Training: NSSK focuses on training and capacity building of healthcare professionals and frontline workers involved in newborn and infant care. This ensures that they have the necessary skills and knowledge to provide quality care and effectively address the specific healthcare needs of newborns and infants.

    NSSK‘s benefits contribute to improved newborn health, decreased infant mortality, and enhanced healthcare services for newborns and infants in India. The program aims to provide a strong foundation for the health and well-being of the youngest members of society, setting them on a path towards a healthier and brighter future.

    Need for NSSK:

    The need for NSSK arises from several factors related to newborn and infant healthcare in India. Here are some key reasons highlighting the need for NSSK:

    1. High Infant Mortality Rate (IMR): India has been grappling with a relatively high infant mortality rate, which refers to the number of infant deaths per 1,000 live births. NSSK aims to address this issue by implementing targeted interventions and providing comprehensive care to reduce infant mortality rates.

    2. Vulnerability of Newborns: Newborns are particularly vulnerable to various health risks and complications during the early stages of life. They require specialised care, skilled attendance during childbirth, and immediate attention to address any potential health concerns. NSSK recognises the need for improved healthcare services specifically tailored to meet the unique needs of newborns.

    3. Health Disparities: Disparities in access to healthcare and quality of care exist, especially among marginalised communities and disadvantaged populations. NSSK aims to bridge these gaps and ensure equitable healthcare services for all newborns, regardless of their socio-economic background or geographic location.

    4. Essential Newborn Care Practices: Implementing essential newborn care practices, such as early initiation of breastfeeding, thermal care, infection prevention, and resuscitation techniques, plays a crucial role in improving newborn health outcomes. NSSK emphasises the importance of promoting and ensuring the widespread adoption of these practices.

    5. Strengthening Healthcare Infrastructure: NSSK focuses on strengthening the healthcare infrastructure, including the establishment and enhancement of Sick Newborn Care Units (SNCUs) and home-based care services. This helps create a supportive ecosystem for providing specialised care to sick newborns and ensuring continuity of care beyond healthcare facilities.

    6. Skilled Healthcare Workforce: NSSK recognises the importance of a skilled and competent healthcare workforce to deliver quality care to newborns and infants. The program emphasises the training and capacity building of healthcare professionals and frontline workers to enhance their skills and knowledge in newborn and infant care.

    By addressing these needs, NSSK aims to ensure better health and well-being for newborns and infants in India. The program plays a vital role in reducing infant mortality rates, improving access to quality care, and promoting essential newborn care practices, ultimately contributing to the overall improvement of child health outcomes in the country.


    In conclusion, the NSSK holds significant importance in the context of newborn and infant healthcare in India.

    The program addresses the specific needs of this vulnerable population by providing essential care, skilled attendance during childbirth, and specialised interventions to improve health outcomes.

    NSSK acknowledges the high infant mortality rate, health disparities, and unique vulnerabilities of newborns, emphasising the need for targeted interventions and equitable healthcare services.

    By promoting essential newborn care practices, establishing sick newborn care units, strengthening the healthcare infrastructure, and providing capacity building for healthcare professionals, NSSK strives to reduce infant mortality rates, enhance access to quality care, and create a nurturing environment for newborns and infants.

    The program’s benefits encompass improved newborn health, decreased infant mortality, and the empowerment of healthcare providers to deliver comprehensive care. NSSK plays a pivotal role in shaping a healthier future for the youngest members of society, ensuring that every newborn receives the care and support they deserve.

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    To use the Ketto crowdfunding platform for collecting funds for medical emergencies, begin by creating an account on their website. Once logged in, click on “Start a Fundraiser” and provide details about the medical emergency, including the patient’s name, condition, required treatment, and other relevant information.

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