Program Overview

Punjab’s estimated population of 100 million 1 is growing at an annual rate of 1.9; the total fertility rate is currently reported at 3.5 2 , which, although lower than other provinces, is still much higher when compared to South Asian neighbors. Both the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and Under 5 Mortality Rate (U5MR) have steadily declined over the past few decades; however, the rate of decline over the years has been considerably slower – IMR being at 75 and U5MR at 93 per 1,000 live births 3 . Unfortunately, the neonatal mortality rate has remained relatively stagnant in the country and has rather increased to 63 per 1,000 live births in Punjab Province 4 . Similarly, the rate of stunting and wasting remain high at 33.5% and 17.5% respectively while the rate of early initiation of breast feeding and exclusive breast feeding remain low at 10.6% and 16.8% respectively.

This snapshot of health status indicates that Punjab could not achieve the MDG targets. Now that the SDG targets are agreed upon globally, drastic measures need to be taken to improve the situation of maternal, newborn and child health and nutrition status in Punjab; which will directly contribute to an improvement in the national status of these indicators. To achieve these targets Punjab will have to significantly improve the quality of services in the RMNCHN sector. Despite the slow progress towards health related goals and other health outcomes, there is evidence that Punjab has made significant level of progress particularly at the intermediate outcome level during the recent years.

Looking at the above scenario, the Government of Punjab has taken a number of new initiatives, the most important one being the integration of LHWs Program, MNCH Program, Nutrition Program and 24/7 Basic EmONC services under the umbrella of the Integrated Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn & Child Health and Nutrition Program (IRMNCHNP).

program merging

New initiatives

Some of the major steps taken up under the IRMNCHNP till June 2017 included:

  1. Scale up of 24/7 Basic EmONC services from 700 to 803 BHUs and further addition of 197 BHUs by January 2018.
  2. Launch of special initiative of BHU Plus model for provision of 24/7 on-call service for obstetric care.
  3. Scale up of nutrition OTP sites from 440 to 804 BHUs.
  4. Scale up of nutrition Stabilization Centers from 20 to 42 hospitals.
  5. Launch of rural ambulance service dedicated for obstetric cases.
  6. Improving the quality of services through introduction of functionality index for BHUs and RHCs (obstetric and nutrition services).
  7. Provision of funds to health councils to improve the service quality for obstetric and newborn care.


Program Objectives

  • Reduction in maternal mortality ratio
  • Reduction in under 5, infant and neonatal mortality rate
  • Reduction in stunting among children
  • Reduction in wasting among children
  • Increase in skilled birth attendants