Government of India, under Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, has launched a new health program- National Urban Health Mission, which is on similar lines to its successful initiative National Rural Health Mission launched in April 2005. While the latter targeted the rural population of India, the newly launched initiative would try to replicate the model in Urban areas.

SOME FACTS :                                                                                                    NATIONAL URBAN HEALTH MISSION (NUHM)

1. Urban population increased from 28.6 crores to 37.7 crores in period between 2001 to 2011 according to Census. (31.16% of total population of 121 cores)
2. 7.66 crores estimated to be living in slums (2011).
3. Projection: If urbanization continues at present rate, 46% of population would be living in urban areas by 2030.
4. Government Programs:

  • For Urban Infrastructure issues: Being tackled by Jawahar Lal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission.
  • Public Health Perspective: Being tackled by NUHM, especially regarding urban poor.

5. Many components of the National Rural Health Mission cover urban areas as well.


Urban poor suffer more regarding health care due to following reasons:

1. Over-crowding of the health care institutions
2. Ineffective outreach
3. Social Exclusion
4. Lack of information and assistance
5. Lack of economic resources

National Urban Health Mission

  • NUHM was started by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to address the health concerns of urban poor population.
  • Municipal Corporation, Municipality, Notified Area Committee, and Town Panchayat will become a unit of planning (these are the urban areas covered under NUHM).
  • Objective would be to enhance the utilization of the system through the convergence mechanism, through provision of a common platform and availability of all services at one point (U-PHC) and through mechanisms of referrals for all communicable and non-communicable diseases including HIV/AIDS.
  • Cities with population from 50,000 to million plus will be covered under NUHM.
  • Target areas & people:

i. Urban Poor Population living in listed and unlisted slums
ii. All other vulnerable population such as homeless, ragpickers, street children, rickshaw pullers, construction and brick and lime kiln workers, sex workers, and other temporary migrants.
iii. Public health thrust on sanitation, clean drinking water, vector control, etc.
iv. Strengthening public health capacity of urban local bodies.

  • Establish link with programs of similar objectives like JnNURM, SJSRY, and ICDS to for better output.
  • Effective community participation by involving:

i. Urban Social Health Activist (ASHA) or Link Worker (LW) in urban poor settlements
ii. community based institutions like Mahila Arogya Samiti (50- 100 households) and Rogi Kalyan Samitis.
iii. States have the flexibility of motivating community participation by using Mahila Arogya Samitis (MAS). In this case ASHA recruitment won’t be required.
iv. NGO’s to facilitate communitization process


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