National Rural Health Mission - NRHM Scheme

Launched in 2005, the NRHM scheme strives to offer both affordable and quality healthcare to those residing in rural India. In addition to this, the scheme was implemented to create strong systems of monitoring and evaluation, improve the delivery of healthcare services, and boost community-led healthcare services.


The NRHM scheme operates on the foundation of four main principles – decentralisation, deployment of human resources, data collection, and public-private partnerships.


Thus far, the scheme has been very efficient in meeting its targets. It has reduced the Infant Mortality Rate from 58 (in 2005) to 42 (in 2012), Maternal Mortality Rate from 254 (in 2004) to 178 (in 2012), to name a few. 


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Features of NRHM Scheme

Take a look at the features and highlights of the NRHM scheme given below.


  • Augment the functionality and accountability of the public health delivery system for the community.

  • Efficient management of human resources.

  • Increase the involvement of the community.

  • Decentralisation of the NRHM scheme specialised healthcare services.

  • Close monitoring and evaluation of services provided against carefully set standards.

  • Intersectional convergence of health and related programmes from village level upwards.

  • Creative development and implementation of healthcare services.

  • Financing the existing and newly implemented programmes.

  • Interventions at regular intervals for improving the existing health indicators.


Objectives of National Rural Health Mission

The objectives of NRHM are:


  • To make quality health care affordable and accessible to poor people living in rural areas.

  • To implement strong strategies for monitoring and evaluation.

  • To improve the quality of health service delivery at all levels.

  • To combine facility-based care with community-led health initiatives.

  • To achieve a functional quality-assured framework for health services.

  • To create a robust and resilient net of health services for the rural and at-risk groups to fall back on.

Strategies Of NRHM

The National Rural Health Mission deploys many core strategies to achieve these objectives. Some of the are:

  • Decentralisation

Quality health care is only available through health facilities owned at the central and state-level or privately in India. NRHM aims to change this equation by building capacity for managing health services at the Panchayat level.

  • Deployment of human resources

NRHM deploys human resources like ASHAs and MPWs at critical points to close service gaps.

  • Data collection

National Rural Health Mission adopts specially developed metrics and data collection and analysis techniques to track the health indicators and improve them.

  • Promotes public-private partnerships

NRHM works to achieve affordable services by regulating the private sector at the practitioner level. This is augmented by increasing the public-private partnerships and non-profit initiatives in focused zones.

Community Participation Initiatives under the NRHM Scheme

  • National Rural Health Mission holds several awareness drives, sensitisation programmes, campaigns and capacity building efforts to mobilise effort at the community level.

  • NRHM appoints Accredited Social Health Activists or ASHAs to integrate service delivery with community efforts. They are responsible for distributing goods and equipment to the stakeholders under NRHM.

  • Community-led health efforts brought about through innovative behavioural change-based interventions with solid support for non-profit initiatives.

NRHM Institutional Process

NRHM focuses on the key personnel and institutions and their responsibilities to improve the available healthcare services. The National Mission Steering Group guides the processes implemented by NRHM.


For example, NRHM:


  • Integrates the Departments of Health and Family Welfare at state and national levels.

  • Appoints Rogi Kalyan Samitis for community management of public hospitals,

  • Assigns Village Health and Sanitation Committee for mobilising human resources.

Achievements of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM)

Targets and Achievements under NRHM from 2005-12:

TARGETS (2012)


Reduce IMR to 30/1000 births

IMR was 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

Increase cataract operations to 46 Lakhs per year

In 2012, 63.49 Lakhs cataract operations were reported yearly

Reduce Dengue Mortality by 50%

8% reduction in Dengue Mortality

Reduce Leprosy Prevalence to less than 1 per 10,000

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

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

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

Reduce Filarial/Microfilariae Reduction Rate to 80%

60% Filarial/Microfilariae Reduction

Targets and Achievements for NRHM between 2012 and 2017:

TARGETS (2017)


Reduce IMR - 25/1000

IMR reduced to 40 in 2013

Reduce MMR - 1/1000

MMR reduced to 167 in 2011-13

Reduce TFR to 2.1

TFR reduced to 2.3 in 2013

Incidence and mortality rate of Tuberculosis to be reduced to half

Tuberculosis incidence: 171 per lakh and mortality: 9 per lakh in 2013.

Reduce Leprosy to <1/10000 population

Rate of Leprosy Prevalence reduced to 1 per 10,000

Reduce Malaria Incidence - <1/1000 annually

Annual Malaria Incidence reduced to less than 1 per 1000

Eliminate Kala-azar by 2015

454/611 blocks reported only less than 1 case per 10,000.

Microfilaria prevalence should be less than 1%

Microfilariae prevalence reduced to less than 1% in 222 out of 255 districts


The National Rural Health Mission, (full form of NRHM), has made significant achievements in health. The enormous human resources and structural plans have helped them reach almost all of their targets. This mission will continue to improve the lives of next generations. Also every year, NRHM recruitment takes place for all the eligible and skilled people, where thousands of NRHM vacancies are open in varied states of India.


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