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SWOT Analysis of Centrally Sponsored Maternal and Child Health Schemes Through Life Cycle Approach and Solutions Employing the TOWS Matrix with a Policy Perspective in the National Context

  • Vatsla Sharma
  • Agency : SWOT, Centrally Sponsored Scheme, Dhanlakshmi, Integrated Child Development Service, Janani Suraksha Yojana, Sabla
  • Objective : To scrutinize CSS that address health concerns of women and children at different stages of their lives. For this purpose SWOT analysis; a time tested management tool, has been done to identify the short comings in the schemes addressing these issues. Further strategies to improve these shortcomings have been suggested by using TOWS matrix
  • Background : Since Independence, the Government of India has launched a number of Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) for improvement of health status of women and children. However India has still not achieved coverage of more than 55% for any of the priority interventions for reproductive health, and child health and nutrition. It is therefore important to carry out in depth analyses of the reasons for weak implementation of rather well conceived schemes, and propose a strategic framework that effectively addresses the factors impeding progress on the ground.
  • Methodology : An in depth literature review accompanied with discussions with key stakeholders associated closely with the implementation of these schemes was done to have a thorough understanding of the selected schemes.
  • Findings : Policies for reproductive and child health include interventions across the life-cycle and service-delivery continuum. Inclusion of interventions in a policy or programme document, however, does not mean that they will achieve sufficient coverage for effect, as is the case for India. The findings of this report suggest that the CSS focusing on maternal and child health have been very well crafted and are backed by adequate resources but certain factors like lack of community participation, inefficient involvement of Panchayati Raj Institution, poor monitoring and evaluation techniques, and patriarchal attitude towards women are impediments to successful achievement of their objectives.
  • Recommendations : In the light of these facts, guidelines and methods need to be developed to engage PRI in a systematic manner for playing a decisive role in the maternal and child Health and nutrition through community participation and oversight, as envisaged in the NRHM. Their potential roles could include micro planning, supervision of health and nutrition functionaries, mentoring health workers, community mobilization and identification of individuals who need to be targeted in the programmes. Behaviour-change communication, delivered through several complementary channels should be exploited to create an atmosphere of gender equality. Focused BCC can be employed to change gender afflicted norms and practices, and persuade individuals, families and communities to invest in health and education of young girls. Unless the attitude of masses changes towards women, government’s efforts to improve the health status through various schemes will not yield much result.
To scrutinize CSS that address health concerns of women and children at different stages of their lives