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Updated: January 17, 2013 14:22 IST

Towards healthy goals

Aarti Dhar
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Health intervention: Focusing on newborn and maternal health. Photo: Ritu Raj Konwar
The Hindu
Health intervention: Focusing on newborn and maternal health. Photo: Ritu Raj Konwar

Norway and India ink partnership to reduce infant and maternal mortality 

India and Norway have signed the second phase of the Norway-India Partnership Initiative (NIPI) on reducing infant and maternal mortality.

The first phase of the partnership was initiated by the two countries’ Prime Ministers — Jens Stoltenberg of Norway and Manmohan Singh of India — in 2006 towards achieving Millennium Development Goals on maternal and child health.

The programme, designed to improve delivery of infant and maternal health services in select Indian States under the umbrella of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), now enters its second phase, which will run from 2013 to 2017. Funding for the second phase is approximately $50 million. 

The partnership, in its Phase II, will focus on the following three overall goals of improving and scaling up quality continuum of care interventions at community and facility level in NIPI and selected non-NIPI districts, establishing mechanism for sustainable institutional collaboration between Norwegian and Indian public and private institutions in areas related to women’s and children’s health and facilitating dialogue on global health between Norway and India. 

NIPI completed its first phase of operations in 2012 in the focus States of Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Bihar and Rajasthan. Based on the experiences gained and results achieved since the beginning of NIPI in 2006, the duration of the program is now extended to coincide with the new NRHM plan 2013-2017.

NIPI Phase II will continue in the same States of the first phase. NIPI interventions will also be made available to demonstration districts of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Assam.

Since its inception, NIPI has shown some clear successes enhancing the visibility of the child health issues with special focus on survival of the newborn. NIPI will continue with a focus on maternal and newborn health, especially the continuum of care from home to facility, and capacity building of health personnel.  

Speaking on the occasion, Eivind S. Homme, Ambassador of Norway to India, said, “I am delighted and honoured to be a part of the extension of this initiative. The success of the first phase towards contributions to the NRHM for scaling up of home based newborn care, sick and newborn care units and techno-managerial support has been very encouraging for all of us. With the Phase II in place now, we hope to contribute to the overall NRHM goals in the country.”

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