CARE CEO optimistic on Bihar's health indices

Written by: Manoj Kumar Ramesh
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New Delhi, Jan 6 (ANI): The President and CEO of CARE International USA, Dr. Helene D. Gayle, on Thursday said Bihar could see a dramatic turnaround in its health indices in three to five years with the bonding of the Government and Non-Government Organizations or voluntary groups, which would improve child and maternal healthcare in the state.

Dr. Gayle, who is on a short visit to New Delhi, in an interview to Asian News International (ANI) said that she expects the mortality rates for Bihar to improve in three to five years.

"The State Government's commitment to achieving health goals was 'encouraging', and it would make a difference in the long run. The indices in health are still low, are still bad. The mortality rate for women as well as children are still high in Bihar, but I think what is encouraging is that more and more commitment is visible there," said Dr. Gayle.

"The resources are there, and I fully expect that in the next three to five years we are going to see progress in health in Bihar because those elements are there that will make a difference in the long run," she added.

Dr. Gayle said there is scope for facilitation of policies and their implementation with the government support.

"For us it is also important that we have the support of the government, because it is part of what can really have an impact. The partnership of working with the government along with the NGO and the private sector and importantly working with the community; so that the community understands its rights. To help and to service is an important part of our work as well," she said.

Dr. Gayle further told ANI that there are numerous areas in which the US and India could share their expertise that would mutually benefit both the nations.

"So many lessons to be learnt. This is after all the largest democracy on the face of this earth and I think India is continuing to innovate in so many ways, whether it is the business community or the technology community," said Dr. Gayle.

"I think there is a lot that we can learn at the United States with India and there is a lot that we can share. So I think it is a real mutual learning experience, a real partnership. And I look forward to seeing it continue to grow and for us to continue to learn from each other," she added.

Dr. Gayle is slated to visit Bihar on Sunday to assess measures on child and maternal healthcare. The visit is expected to focus on monitoring mortality rates and also solving poor implementation of health policies.

CARE has identified literacy, education, maternal and child health, nutrition, livelihood and economic self-sufficiency as focus areas in Bihar.

CARE's key areas of intervention include among others, healthcare especially with regard to HIV and AIDS, TB Protection and critical support during disasters, damage mitigation and relief work.

CARE has worked in Bihar for over 40 years, with an operational presence in almost all the 38 districts of the state. By Pooja Shali (ANI)

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