New Delhi, Nov 20 (Bureau) More than 50,000 (50,025) Ayushman Bharat – Health and Wellness Centres (AB-HWCs) are now operational across the country resulting in affordable primary healthcare services being accessible to more than 25 crore people. With 50,025 AB-HWCs now operational across the country, it meets 1/3rd of the target set of 1.5 lakh AB-HWCs to be established by December 2022. Together, the 50,025 operational AB-HWCs spread across 678 districts, have witnessed over 28.10 crore footfalls of which over 53 per cent were women who sought care at these centres. More than 6.43 crore people have been screened for hypertension, 5.23 crore for diabetes and 6.14 crore people for cancers. About 1.0 crore people are being provided free drugs for treatment of hypertension and about 60 lakhs for diabetes at these AB-HWCs centres which include 27,890 Sub Health Centres, 18,536 Primary Health
Centres and 3,599 Urban Primary Health Centres.Describing them as the “backbone of the healthcare delivery system”, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan congratulated the states/UTs for their efforts in operationalising the HWCs despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. “This has been possible due to the joint efforts of the Centre and the states/UTs in planning, monitoring at all levels, standardisation of processes, the flexibility for adaptation provided to the states/UTs, and building on the health systems created thus far,” he stated. He specially thanked the frontline health workers, the medical officers, the community health officers and ASHAs for their dedication to the cause of providing primary health care services and for supporting millions of people with necessary services in these difficult times. He said their contribution during the Covid period has been exemplary.
HWCs have helped in interventions such as risk communication, contact tracing, community surveillance and early identification of cases, and seamless provisioning of non-COVID essential health services for ensuring protection of vulnerable groups, such as the newborn, elderly and those with co-morbidities. Since the launch of the first AB-HWC by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 14, 2018 at Jhangla in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh, these centres have been providing CPHC services to people and sustain the efforts for provision of reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child, adolescent and nutrition (RMNCHA+N) services and control of communicable diseases.
They also focus on disease prevention, especially for chronic and non-communicable diseases, wellness through community engagement and creating awareness about health lifestyles, appropriate nutrition and physical activities such as yoga. The HWC team consists of a trained Community Health Officer, one or two health workers and 5-8 ASHAs. This team has well defined tasks which intend to deliver public health functions and primary health care by bringing health-care services closer to the community, an official release here.