The Rashtriya Kishore Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK) program in Sitamarhi, Bihar

Supporting the Government of Bihar to implement the Rashtriya Kishore Swasthya Karyakram

Duration: 2017-Ongoing

Location: Sitamarhi district, Bihar

The Government of India announced its amended Rashtriya Kishore Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK) in December 2014. RKSK seeks to improve the health and development of adolescents through a combination of community-based behaviour change communication for the adoption of healthy behaviour as well as the provision of clinical services and counselling at the health facility level. RKSK addresses six priority areas in health- nutrition, reproductive health, mental health, non-communicable diseases, substance abuse, and violence (including injuries and aggression).

From June 2016, under an agreement between EngenderHealth and the Government of Bihar, Agragami began working in Sitamarhi district in 8 of its 17 blocks, supporting the district authorities in implementing the RKSK program. Agragami staff provides weekly counselling services at the Adolescent Friendly Health Clinics (AFHCs) in the 8 intervention blocks, as well as support the ANMs and ASHAs of these blocks to organize and conduct community-level adolescent health activities. The community-level activities include generating awareness of the RKSK program objectives and activities in the 217 intervention villages, selecting 2038 peer educators in these villages, forming 2038 peer groups, conducting monthly meetings with peer groups, conducting monthly meetings (Adolescent Health Clubs) with peer educators, and organizing the quarterly Adolescent Health Days (AHDs) in each village. The program requires a massive capacity building effort, in which 60 ANMs, 577 ASHAs and 2038 peer educators in the 8 intervention blocks need training and on-the-job supervision and guidance till they become adept at playing their defined roles in the RKSK.

In the 18-month project duration, Agragami will help to complete the capacity building and ensure that the implementation of all the components of RKSK begins in earnest in all the 8 blocks. When fully operational, the project will touch the lives of over 300,000 adolescents aged 10-19 years, helping them to grow healthily into adolescence, adjust to the stresses of this vulnerable period in their lives, and acquire positive habits and behaviours that will ensure a lifetime of health.