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Work on districts lagging on various health parameters across the country will be fast tracked in the year ahead, Minister of State Health and Family Welfare Sudeep Bandopadhyay said here Wednesday. "The health ministry has identified 264 backward districts across the country which are lagging behind on health parameters. This includes parameters like maternal mortality rate, infant mortality rate, disease burden and effectiveness of policies," Bandopadhyay said at a consultation celebrating National Safe Motherhood Day. "Emphasis is being given on community involvement under the national rural health mission (NRHM) for local health needs that affect these parameters," the minister added.
The two-day consultation, organised by ministry of health, government of Rajasthan, White Ribbon Alliance and USAID (United States Agency for International Development), saw participation from health workers and officials from all across the country. While the districts cover states of Jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh among others, the ministry has also added an additional workforce of 13,000 health managers at the district level. The medical workers will work in assistance with ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) and ANM (Auxiliary Nurse and Midwife) workers who are the pulse of the NRHM, said ministry officials.
"We have added around 13,000 health managers at the local level under NRHM. There has also been an addition to the workforce of specialised doctors, medical officers and Ayush (A joint association of ayurvedic, unani and homoeopathy doctors) doctors," said Anuradha Gupta, mission director for NRHM, ministry of health. "Improvement has been there, but we are yet to translate this addition to better statistics. The year ahead for NRHM is very crucial as the centre and states will have to work together on policies," Gupta added. The ministry and Rajasthan government also flagged off Hamari Beti Express' to reach out to rural and urban population over the year and disseminate messages on girl child and sex determination.
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