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Dec 02, 2018

Venkaiah Naidu says, Infant and neonatal care in India improves

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu has said, infant and neonatal care in India has improved and called for reducing their mortality rates further. Inaugurating a hospital in Chennai this afternoon, he said, the Union Government’s initiative to provide medical insurance to ten crore needy families under the Ayushman Bharat scheme would improve maternal and child health indicators.

He added, the Government’s proposal to establish 1.5 lakh Health and Wellness Centres across the country would also help to improve the health indices. Mr Naidu said, it is crucial for any developing nation like India to provide a healthy and happy childhood for its children.

He quoted the UN Inter-Agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation, saying, in 2017, the infant mortality rate in India was 32 deaths per 1,000 live births, which is several notches higher as compared to previous years, though the global average is 12. In case of neonatal mortality rate too, India had 24 deaths per 1,000 live births while the global average remained 18.

The Vice President said, more needs to be done in improving preventive and treatment interventions for newborns and those below five years. Referring to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal targets, he said the under-five mortality rate needs to be reduced to 25 per 1,000 live births by 2030. To achieve it, he called for the participation and cooperation of both Public and Private Sectors.

Mr Naidu underscored the need for the private sector to partner with the government in making healthcare affordable as well as accessible to the common man, particularly in the rural and remote parts of the country. He asked the corporate sector not to concentrate on urban areas alone and urged them to set up healthcare facilities in rural areas also as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility activities.

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