The Rajasthan government on Monday entered into a partnership with Tata Trust and ‘Antara’ Foundation to improve the status of maternal and child health in the State.
The programme (‘Akshada’) will focus on the crucial ‘1000 days’ between conception and age 2 of a child and will include the most critical areas like maternal anaemia, neo-natal mortality and improving immunization. The programme would deploy interventions that could greatly reduce the levels of malnutrition amongst children under five.
To begin with, the programme will focus intensively in Jhalawar and Sirohi districts and would subsequently be replicated, amplified and rolled out across the State. The Tata Trusts are funding this flagship programme and the Antara Foundation, led by Ashok Alexander, will implement the programme in the focus districts.
The Memorandum of Understanding was signed here in the presence of Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata Trusts. Speaking on the occasion, Ms Raje said there was plenty of scope to improve the health status of women and young children in State. “We believe that private partnership in the programme for improving maternal and child health and bettering the nutrition status will take Rajasthan a long away in emerging as a State with health indicators at par with India’s best,” she added.
Mr. Tata said that the Tata Trusts’ new initiative in addressing the problem of malnutrition amongst mothers and infant children will have a positive impact on millions of children in terms of their improved health and resistance to illness and physical and mental deformity at birth.
The Executive Director of Antara Foundation Mr Alexander said, supporting the heroic work of frontline government health workers and creating demand at the village level are critical in scaling up health care delivery”.