Maternal, infant mortality still areas of concern: Azad

Hyderabad, Jan 12 (PTI) Despite the achievements madeunder National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), key healthindicators like maternal mortality ratio (MMR) and infantmortality ratio (IMR) are still "areas of concern", unionhealth minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said here today.

"In spite of the achievements made so far there are stillareas of concern. The pace of decline in various key healthindicators like IMR, MMR, Total Fertility Rate and death andmorbidity due to communicable diseases has not improved ascompared to pre-NRHM period," Azad said.

The minister said this in his inaugural address atState Health Ministers'' Conference which began here.

He said the Government of India has provided Rs 53,000crore to the states under NRHM in the last six years.

"One of the success stories of the last year was progressof polio eradication after the introduction of biovalent poliovaccine. There have been only 42 cases in 2010 as compared tonearly more than 700 cases in 2009. In the case of TB, we haveachieved more than 72 per cent detection rate and 87 per centcure rate, which are more than the WHO recommended levels."

Speaking about the National Programme for Prevention andControl of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases andStroke (NPPCCDCDS) which was initiated in 100 districts across21 states, he said the programme will now be expanded to allthe 650 districts in the country.

Azad also said that government was formulating NationalUrban Health Mission which would take care of infrastructureneeds at district and sub-divisional levels. .

About 25 ministers of health, medical education and family Welfare from the states, along with health secretaries,are attending the conference.

The conference will focus on issues such as reduction inmaternal and infant mortality rates, population stabilisation,prevention and control of infectious diseases, NationalVector-Borne Disease Control Programme, Revised National TBControl Programme and strengthening of disease surveillancesystems.

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