Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK)

News: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has launched a scheme for universal screening of children below 18 years for leprosy and tuberculosis (TB). It is a part of the Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK)


About Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK)

  • It was launched in 2013 under the National Health Mission. It is implemented by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
  • Aim: early identification  and  early  intervention  for  children  from  birth  to  18  years to cover 4 ‘D’s viz. Defects at  birth,  Deficiencies,  Diseases,  Development  delays  including  disability.
  • Child Health Screening and Early Intervention Services under RBSK covers 30 selected health conditions for screening, early detection and free management. Tuberculosis and Leprosy were previously not a part of it.

Additional Information:

About Leprosy:

  • Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease is a chronic neuro-muscular disorder. It is caused by several strains of Mycobacterium leprae.
  • It can be cured with Multi-Drug Therapy (MDT).

Status of Leprosy in India:

  • In 2005, India achieved the goal of elimination of leprosy as a public health problem, defined by WHO as less than 1 case per 10,000 population.
  • All states except Chhattisgarh and the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli have eliminated leprosy. However, 1.15 lakh to 1.2 lakh new leprosy cases are still detected annually

Elimination efforts:


  • National Leprosy Eradication Programme was launched in 1983 with an objective to arrest the disease activity in all the known cases of leprosy and eventually eliminate leprosy.


  • Global leprosy strategy 2016-2020: It has been launched by WHO. It aims at a) zero children with leprosy-affected disabilities by 2020 and b) reduction of new patients diagnosed with leprosy-related deformities to >1 per million population

About Tuberculosis (TB)

  • TB is an infectious airborne bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
  • When TB infection becomes resistant to the first line of treatment — isoniazid and rifampicin, it is called Multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB). When the infection becomes resistant even to the second-line treatment it is called Extensively-drug resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB)

Status of TB in India

  • The WHO 2018 Global TB Report says that India has the highest burden of TB and multi-drug-resistant TB (MDR-TB)
  • TB kills an estimated 4, 80,000 Indians every year — an average over 1,300 every day.

Elimination Efforts:


  • The Indian government has put forward National Strategic Plan (NSP) for TB Elimination, 2017-2025. The plan is a framework to provide guidance for the activities of various stakeholders to reduce the burden of TB mortality and morbidity.
  • In 2018, the government launched the TB Free India campaign to take activities under NSP for TB Elimination. The campaign seeks to eliminate TB in India by 2025


  • SDG 3.3: It calls to eliminate TB by 2030
  • WHO End TB Strategy: It aims to end the global TB epidemic, with targets to reduce TB deaths by 95% and to cut new cases by 90% between 2015 and 2035