US grants Rs 58 cr to improve maternal mortality in India

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New Delhi, Jun 12 (UNI) The US government and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare today launched a Rs 58.1 crore health programme aimed at improving maternal, child health and nutrition in India.

The Maternal and Child Health Sustainable Technical Assistance and Research Initiative (MCH-STAR) will work to improve maternal and child health care in India over the next five years through applied research, policy analysis, advocacy and technical assistance.

The move is significant as several women in India die from complications associated with pregnancy and childbirth than anywhere else in the world and over 1.2 million Indian newly-born babies die within a month.

The initiative, a US-India partnership, comprises India Clinical Epidemiology Network, Population Foundation of India, Public Health Foundation of India, Emerging Markets Group, Boston University and Center for Development and Population Activities, NGO based in Washington DC.

Speaking at the event, Secretary Naresh Dayal of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said, ''We need an expanding reservoir of professional research, public health and technical assistance institutions working at global standards that can support government programs.'' USAID Mission Director George Deikun said, ''We aim to make real improvements in the lives of women and their children through this unique program, led by Indian institutions and facilitated by the US based global expertise.'' UNI AJ ATI MIR KP1703

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