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MDGs: India won’t give up on achieving targets

With the deadline for achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) nearing, India on Tuesday said it was not giving up yet on reaching the targets.At the Third Women Deliver 2013 that began here, Mission Director of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) Anuradha Gupta India was still hopeful of achieving the targets.

She enumerated the measures taken to bring down infant mortality rate (IMR) and maternal mortality ratio (MMR) of 42 per 1,000 live births and 109 per 1,00,000 live births respectively by December 31, 2015.

Official statistics suggest that India was far from achieving the goals, particularly those on reducing child and maternal mortality. As per latest data, of the 1,000 children born, 52 are dying before reaching the age of five, while IMR is still 212 per 100,000 live births.

Game-changers

Admitting that the implementation of the maternal death audit, mandatory under law, was still far from satisfactory, Ms. Gupta said enhanced focus on reproductive and child health, augmentation of health systems and placing Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) under NRHM as mobilisers had been game-changers .

Inaugurating the conference, Malaysian Prime Minister Mohd. Najib Tun Abdul Razak said political will and stable policies, investment in health and a commitment to improving quality care were some of the essentials of his country’s success. “It is my hope that countries still lagging behind in meeting the MDGs would be able to learn from our experience.”

Malaysia has one of the lowest maternal mortality ratios in the region.

Describing universal access to reproductive health services as a basic human right that should not be denied, Mr. Razak said life-saving interventions should be made available especially where cultural differences made access more difficult.

India’s schemes of delivering contraceptives on the doorstep and training of auxiliary nurse midwives (ANMs) for insertion of intrauterine devices (IUDs) for better spacing of children received much appreciation at the conference.

Ms. Gupta said efforts were on to provide post-partum IUDs to 12.5 million women accessing public health facilities at the 1.5-lakh sub-centres.

“The challenge, however, is to reach out to the unreached, and our focus will be on that. Our dependence on qualified doctors has been huge. But we are now training ANMs for providing basic family planning services,” she said.

India had identified 17,000 facilities that need to be decongested because of heavy patient load and this would be done by adding dedicated maternal and child health wings in addition to focussing on districts with bad maternal and child mortality indicators.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2021 6:53:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/mdgs-india-wont-give-up-on-achieving-targets/article4760326.ece

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