National Rural Health Mission (NRHM)

Launched in April 2005, the National Rural Health Mission or NRHM aims to make quality healthcare affordable and accessible to people living in rural parts of the country. NRHM is a part of the National Health Mission and aims to provide RMNCH+A (Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child Health and Adolescent Health ) services with a special focus on at-risk groups.

Features of NRHM

The NRHM takes a life-cycle approach to health programming. Under complete realisation, NRHM will make the public health delivery system decentralised, and fully accountable to the community. To achieve this, NRHM is attempting to converge efforts in healthcare at the village level and beyond, in the overarching context of improving service delivery, and achieving change on issues that go beyond just health, like Family Planning (FP), maternity, child survival, sanitation, water and education amongst others.

Objectives of National Rural Health Mission

In addition to making health services accessible, one of NRHM’s major goals is to improve quality of health service delivery at all levels. To achieve a decentralised and quality-assured framework for health services, NRHM aims to deploy rigorous M&E (Monitoring and Evaluation) strategies. It also aims to combine facility-based care with community-led health initiatives to create a strong, resilient net of health services for the rural and at-risk groups to fall back on.

Strategies Of NRHM

In order to achieve these objectives, the National Rural Health Mission deploys a number of core strategies. In India, quality healthcare is only available through health facilities owned at the central and state-level, or privately. NRHM aims to change this equation by building capacity for managing health services at the Panchayat level. NRHM also deploys human resources at critical points - like ASHAs, and MPWs, to close service gaps at critical points. Additionally, NRHM adopts novel metrics and techniques of data collection and analysis to track and improve health indicators.

To further strengthen healthcare availability, NRHM is also concerned with the larger context of the health ecosystem of India. To this end, NRHM’s works to regulate the private sector at the practitioner level to achieve affordable services. This is further strengthened by promoting public-private partnerships and non-profit initiatives in the intervention areas.

Community Participation Initiatives under NRHM

To mobilise effort at the community level, NRHM holds a number of sensitisation programmes, awareness drives, campaigns in addition to capacity building efforts. To integrate service delivery with community efforts, NRHM deploys ASHAs or Accredited Social Health Activists who have become a multi-faceted figure in local health delivery systems. They are responsible for the distribution of goods and equipment to the stakeholders under NRHM. Moreover, with a strong support for non-profit initiatives, community-led health efforts are being brought about through innovative behavioral change-based interventions.

NRHM Institutional Process

To navigate a loosely defined maze of healthcare services, NRHM outlines and details key personnel and institutions and their responsibilities. For example, it integrates the Departments of Health and Family Welfare at state and national levels, deploys Rogi Kalyan Samitis for community management of public hospitals, and Village Health and Sanitation Committee (VHSC) for mobilising human resources. The larger strategic guidance comes from the National Mission Steering Group, chaired by the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare.

Achievements of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM)

Targets & Achievements under NRHM from 2005-12:

TARGETS (2012)


Reduce IMR to 30/1000 births

IMR reduced from 58 in 2005 to 42 in 2012.

Reduce Maternal Mortality to 100/100,000 live births

MMR reduced from 254 in 2004-06 to 178 in 2010-12.

Reduce TFR to 2.1

TFR reduced from 2.9 in 2005 (SRS) to 2.4 in 2012 (SRS).

Reduce Malaria Mortality by 60%

70% Malaria mortality reduction

Reduce Kala Azar Mortality by 100%

85% Kala-azar mortality reduction

Reduce Filaria/Microfilaria Reduction Rate to 80%

60% Filaria/Microfilaria Reduction

Reduce Dengue Mortality by 50%

8% reduction in Dengue Mortality

Increase cataract operations to 46 Lakhs per year

63.49 Lakhs cataract operations reported yearly in 2012

Reduce Leprosy Prevalence to less than 1 per 10,000

Leprosy Prevalence Rate reduced from 1.34 per 10,000 in 2005 to 0.68 per 10,000 in 2012.

Tuberculosis Control to 70% case detection & 85% cure rate

Tuberculosis was seeing 71% case detection and 88% cure rate in 2012.

Targets & Achievements for NRHM between 2012 and 2017:

TARGETS (2017)


Reduce IMR - 25/1000

IMR reduced from 42 in 2012 to 40 (2013)

Reduce MMR - 1/1000

MMR reduced to 167 (2011-13)

Reduce TFR to 2.1

TFR reduced to 2.3 (2013).

Tuberculosis incidence and mortality - reduce to half

Tuberculosis incidence: 171/Lakh Tuberculosis mortality: 9/Lakh (2013).

Reduce Leprosy to <1/10000 population

Leprosy Prevalence Rate: < 1 per 10,000

Reduce Malaria Incidence - <1/1000 annually

Annual Malaria Incidence < 1 per 1000

Microfilaria prevalence <1%

MF <1% in 222/255 districts

Eliminate Kala-azar 2015

454/611 blocks report <1 case/10,000


The National Rural Health Mission has made significant achievements in the area of health. The enormous framework of human and physical resources have empowered them to achieve most of their targets. NRHM will improve the lives of many generations to come. While the NRHM aims to provide health insurance to everyone, a lot are still not covered by health insurance. With health insurance plans available on Finserv MARKETS, you can now cover your health with a pocket-friendly solution. With the Individual Health Insurance Plan, you get a cover of up to Rs. 50 Lakhs and many such benefits. So what are you waiting for? Log on to Finserv MARKETS and choose the right health insurance for yourself and your loved ones too.

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