Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad said on Monday that the Centre has set an ambitious target of achieving a Maternal Mortality Rate..." />
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Centre sets itself tough target for reducing maternal mortality rate

Centre sets itself tough target for reducing maternal mortality rate


Mangalore Today News Network

Manipal,October 5: Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad said on Monday that the Centre has set an ambitious target of achieving a Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) of 100 per 1,00,000 live births and an Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) of 30 per 1,000 live births within next four years under the Millennium Development Goals.


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He was inaugurating the Keshav Bhandarkar Centre for Maternal and Child Health at the Kasturba Hospital of Manipal University here.


Mr. Azad said that under the Reproductive and Child Health Programme, iron and folic acid (IFA) tablets had been provided to all health sub-centres across the country to address this problem. The usage of IFA tablets was reported to be sub-optimal for various reasons. As a result, anaemia remained a big challenge and adversely affected the health of the pregnant women as well as her child.


Maternal morbidity was equally crucial. For every maternal death, there were several women with morbidity and sometimes they had to suffer for very long duration, even throughout their lives. It was important to provide proper attention to this aspect, he said.


Expansion of skilled birth attendants and availability of healthcare facilities with drugs, diagnostics, doctors and paramedical staff was essential for ensuring appropriate healthcare.


Over one crore pregnant women in the country had benefited from the Janani Surakshya Yojana in 2009-10 and the Government had spent Rs. 1,400 crore on this scheme last year.


To overcome shortage of specialists and faculty, the norms stipulated for teacher and student was 1:1. This had been amended and the current stipulation was that one professor could train two postgraduate students in broad specialties, while a professor and associate professor could train two students in super specialties. This single step had yielded 4,000 additional postgraduate/super-specialist seats in government medical colleges in the academic session of 2010.


The Centre provided Rs. 1,350 crore to government medical colleges to upgrade their infrastructure for creating more postgraduate seats and to start PG courses. This step would create another 5,000 to 6,000 seats in the next two years. So there would an increase of 10,000 to 12,000 additional postgraduate seats in the next two or three years.


The Government had given recognition to degrees and teaching experience gained by doctors of Indian origin from five English-speaking countries such as U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The Centre Union Government is giving financial assistance to State Government to set up 270 nursing schools throughout the country this year and next year.


To improve skill standards of paramedics, the Centre had approved the establishment of one national and eight regional institutes of excellence in paramedical education, Mr. Azad said.


Chancellor of Manipal University Ramdas Pai, Pro Chancellor H.S. Ballal, Pro Vice-Chancellor Vinod Bhat, Dean of Kasturba Medical College Sripati Rao, and philanthropist Mitra Bhandarkar were present.


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