//Country must reduce maternal mortality rate: Anbumani

Country must reduce maternal mortality rate: Anbumani

KOCHI: The Government will spend Rs. 40,000 crore on a renewed Reproductive and Child Health Programme called RCH-II in the next five years to take care of impoverished mothers and children in the country. This was announced by Anbumani Ramdoss, the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, after inaugurating the 49th All India Congress of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, here on Friday. He said the biggest challenge continued to be the maternal mortality rate (MMR), which continues to hover over 400 deaths per 100,000 deliveries in the country. Comparing it with neighbouring Sri Lanka’s MMR of 100 per lakh deliveries, he said the country with much better facilities should do better. He also cited the example of Kerala, where MMR was said to be 35 per lakh deliveries. The country has reduced the infant mortality rate, though much remained to be done, he said. The Government will open 3000 centres for Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission of HIV. There are already 380 centres where expecting mothers are given anti-retroviral treatment (ART). Though the prevalence rate of 0.91 per cent was much lower compared to many other parts of the world, the Government saw the need for programmes to check the spread of the disease, the Minister said. Dr. Duru Shah was installed as the next president of the Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI), which had organised the congress. Her presentation on the future programmes of FOGSI focused on creating awareness among youth about reproductive and sexual health. Hindu, Jan7,2006 http://www.hindu.com/2006/01/07/stories/2006010715450900.htm