Govt campaign to bring down child, maternal mortality soon

Govt campaign to bring down child, maternal mortality soon

The NDA government has identified 184 districts where the Health Ministry would launch a focused campaign to stop all infant and maternal mortality by 2030.

“To improve our health outcomes, 184 poorest districts have been identified. Special efforts are being made to put in more resources to launch focused programmes in these areas,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said here inaugurating the Call to Action summit, 2015 attended by 24 nations that account for 70 per cent of the world’s preventable maternal and child deaths.

The aim is to stop all maternal and under five children mortality in these districts by 2030 and bring down infant mortality to a low level.

“A mechanism will be put in place to ensure nobody has to walk more than 30 minutes to reach a health centre. All tribal and under developed districts will be covered,” C K Mishra, additional secretary in the Health Ministry told Deccan Herald.

The ministry would ask the states to rope in the private sector and relax norms for setting up new public health centres. “We have special plans for these districts,” Mishra said. However, tackling 26 million births every year is a formidable challenge.

In the last two decades, India achieved success in bringing down under-5 mortality rate from 126 in 1990 to 49 in 2013. “India is likely to reach close to achieving the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target if the current trend of annual decline is sustained,” Modi said.

India’s IMR currently is 40 per 1000 live births as against the MDG target of 27 by 2015 end. Under-5 mortality is 49 compared to the target of 42. The maternal mortality rate is 167 per 100,000 births as against the MDG goal of 109 by the end of 2015.

On the positive side, India has eliminated maternal and neonatal tetanus, months before the global target date of December 2015. Maternal and neonatal tetanus is reduced to less than one case per 1000 live births in all 675 districts of the country. The World Health Organisation has validated this achievement adding India to the list of countries that have successfully battled this killer disease.

It is an achievement for India which until a few decades ago reported 1,50,000 to 2,00,000 neonatal tetanus cases annually, WHO says in a statement. “This gives us confidence to achieve other targets before the deadline,” Modi said.

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