Y. Mallikarjun

Move to reduce maternal and infant mortality rates

  • State received Rs. 480 crores under National Rural Health Mission
  • State planning to seek Rs. 900 crores from Centre this year

    HYDERABAD: As many as 108 Comprehensive Emergency Obstetrics and Neonatal Care (CEMONCs) centres are being constructed in the rural areas, each at a cost of Rs. 60 lakhs.

    Health Secretary P. V. Ramesh told The Hindu that this was part of the efforts to reduce the maternal and infant mortality rates in the State. These centres would have state-of-the-art equipment, including blood transfusion facilities. Each of them would have three obstetricians, a paediatrician and an anaesthetist.

    The other steps were recruitment of 65,000 health volunteers and an additional Auxillary Nurse Midwife in each of the 13,320 health sub-centres, he said. The State had also received Rs. 480 crores last year under National Rural Health Mission whose principal focus was reproductive and child health services.

    Mr. Ramesh said a `Health Sector Strategy' aimed at reforming the entire public health system and to enable Andhra Pradesh achieve Millennium Development Goals faster is expected to be approved by the Cabinet next month.

    Among others, it would seek to revamp the Primary and Community Health Centres, have professional cadre for hospital management, introduce performance-based incentives and ensure that the staffing pattern, buildings and services are in conformity with Indian Public Health Standards.

    As part of achieving the MDG, the proposed strategy would focus on reducing infectious diseases besides infant, maternal, and neonatal mortality rates and check the spread of HIV.

    Meanwhile, the Government is planning to seek Rs. 900 crores from the Centre under the NRHM this year, against the Rs. 600 crores it is expected to receive.

    The additional Rs. 300 crores would be utilised, among others, to build infrastructure for hospitals and strengthen Drug Control Administration, Institute of Preventive Medicine and medical education.

    DFID grant

    UK Government's Department for International Development (DFID) had also sanctioned a grant of Rs. 500 crores for a period of three years for Andhra Pradesh to improve health delivery services in remote and tribal areas, bridge "critical gaps" in terms of installing equipment in hospitals and impart training to health personnel.

    Measures have also been initiated to improve emergency and casualty services in all hospitals, he added.