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Original Research

An assessment of the functioning of the Village Health Sanitation and Nutrition Committee in the rural areas of Kamrup district, Assam

Manjit Das, Jutika Ojah, Rupali Baruah.


Background: The Village Health Sanitation and Nutrition Committee (VHSNC) is a first step toward decentralized planning and community empowerment approach.

Objective: To assess the constitution of the VHSNCs, to assess the activities undertaken by them, and to assess the funding and utilization status of the VHSNCs.

Materials and Methods: Study design—Community-based cross-sectional study. Study place—Three blocks of Kamrup district viz, Boko-Bongaon, Hajo, and Sualkuchi. Study period—July 1 to October 31, 2015. Study population—The functionaries of VHSNCs present during visit and the records maintained. Sample size—Total 78 VHSNCs were assessed in this study. Sample collection technique—Out of the total 12 blocks, 3 blocks were selected. Sub-centers (50%) under these three blocks selected and two villages from each SC selected. All the 78 VHSNCs operating in these villages were included in this study. Data collection tool—Predesigned and pretested schedule containing both open- and closed-ended questions. Primary data were collected by interview method and secondary data obtained from various records.

Results: 55.12% VHSNCs had 11 or more members. Panchayati Raj Institution (PRI) member, Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM), Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA), Anganwadi Worker (AWW), and Medical officer were members in all of the committees. Only 16.67% of the VHSNCs conducted 10–12 meetings in 1 year. 16.67% VHSNCs had maintained and updated the untied fund register. Formation of new committee and new members (96.15%), ASHA’s incentive (94.87%), and Anganwadi Center (AWC) repairing (88.76%) were commonly discussed topics in monthly meetings. A majority of 67.93% VHSNCs utilized more than 90% of the funds allotted to them.

Conclusion: It was observed that although VHSNCs have been constituted in all of the revenue villages in the study area, there are several lacunae in their organization.

Key words: Village Health Sanitation and Nutrition Committee (VHSNC), Panchayati Raj Institution (PRI) member, Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM), Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA), Anganwadi Worker (AWW), Anganwadi Center (AWC)

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