India to get Rs 250 crore health care grant from Norway

India will get Rs 250 crore grant from Norway in the next five years for improving rural health care services to further reduce child and maternal mortality.

This follows the extention of Norway-India Partnership Initiative (NIPI), designed to facilitate states to improve delivery of child health services with efficient techno- managerial support structures, for another five years beyond 2012, officials said.

A letter of intent in this regard was signed in Oslo between India's Health Secretary P K Pradhan and Norway's Secretary General from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Bente Angell-Hansen earlier this week, they said.

"We are trying to go for the second phase of NIPI, that started in 2006 and is ending this year...They agreed to provide us Rs 250 crore. We are working out on how to take forward this initiative and build up our capacities in rural healthcare, as NIPI was acting as a catalyst in this regard," Pradhan said.

He said the initiative will be utilised in scaling up further the health care facilities and develop expertise in various states.

"We will go for more and more institute collaborations. Our task is to utilise their expertise in our capacity building to help improve child survival," he said.

He said the existing collaboration between Oslo University Health Hospital and Kolkata's Post-Graduate Regional Institute for newborn care will strengthened further and more collaborations with other institutes across the country will be made.

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