Seventeenth Convocation of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) was held on 14 February 2013 in Bangalore. Chief Guest of the convocation was the Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Ghulam Nabi Azad.
Initiatives taken during the convocation
•Ghulam Nabi Azad declared that address and telephone based Mother and Child Tracking System were available for reaching out to the pregnant women for appropriate care during pregnancy as well as for every child for vaccination.
•New initiative called Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram was launched on 6 February 2013 in Maharashtra for Universal Screening of Children for Disorders, Diseases, Deficiencies and Disabilities since birth to 18 years. This programme will include 270 million children in India.
•The Health Ministers of India and Bangladesh signed a MoU on Health in New Delhi on 12 February 2013. The MoU was signed so that the two nations can cooperate in terms of health sector.
•India and Bangladesh also facilitated setting up South Asian Autism Network (SAAN). The meeting between two nations was concluded on 11 February 2013 where both nations had Adoption of Delhi Declaration.
•National review in mental health was conducted in which it was observed that around one out of two patients needed to travel over 5 km for care and 40 percent patients had to travel over 10 km. National Mental Health Programmes in context with this, were re-strategised for upgrading all Mental Hospitals in India.
•Apart from this, psychiatry wings of about 90 medical colleges were upgraded and District Hospitals were strengthened for facilitating medical care to patients who are mentally ill.
•It was decided that 18 Ambulance services would be started for transporting the patients to District Hospitals in case of emergency.
•The Health Ministry also drew plan for scaling up the programme to around 300 districts and eventually to all the districts in a properly phased manner during 12th Five Year Plan.
•The programme would be evaluated by NIMHANS. Also, NIMHANS would facilitate a blue print for expanding these mental health services in India.
About National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS)
•National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) is a deemed university, designated as Institute of National Importance by an Act of Parliament.
•NIMHANS laid its foundation on 14 February 1974.
•Specialty of NIMHANS is in the discipline of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences in India.
•NIMHANS in 2012 started free legal aid services called NIMHANS Centre for Well-Being with 15 high-tech laboratories.