A State level Consultation on Adolescent Development Programme was held on 28th May 2019 at the Conference Hall of National Health Mission (NHM) in Assam, Guwahati. The programme was jointly organized by NHM and Child in Need Institute (CINI). The programme was attended by senior Government officials from various departments along with a number of development partners/NGOs of the region. The consultation discussed the key issues associated with adolescents with special reference to the Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK). Dr. K. Zaman, Consultant, Maternal Health, NHM during his inaugural speech elaborated different components of the RKSK programme and also explained the need for a multi-stakeholder approach for effective implementation of RKSK. Participating in the discussion, Dr. A.C. Baishya, Executive Director, NHM said that, for the first time Government & other development partners have come together to discuss adolescent issues. He also emphasized on improving the various health indicators for adolescents in the coming periods with reference to baseline data. Dr. Baishya appealed to various organizations working on adolescent issues to join hands at the field level so that it benefits the interventions directly and reaches to the target groups. Two presentations – one on current initiative on RKSK and other 0n CINI”s innovations on RKSK implementation – were presented in the Consultation.
The Mission Director, NHM Mr. J. V. N. Subramanyam, interacted with the representatives of the various departments as well as NGO representatives to explore the existing convergence platforms to address the adolescent issues in an effective manner. He stressed that the issues of adolescents should not be looked at as a health-related problem only, instead the issues of adolescents must be addressed in a comprehensive way with the multi-stakeholders engagements. Mr. Subramanyam also said that creating a village level convergence platform is very much essential and organizations like CINI need to play a vital role to create such convergence platforms. Since teenage pregnancy in Assam is very high and Assam is one of the leading states in Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP), so it is now high time that everybody joins hands to address issues of adolescents effectively and collaboratively.