Health Min to strengthen maternal & child tracking systems

New Delhi, Jan 2: In a bid to improve child sex ratio by providing better antenatal and pre-natal care to women in the country, the Health Ministry is planning to strengthen its Maternal and Child Tracking System (MCTS) and Mother and Child Tracking Facilitation Centre (MCTFC).

The move holds significance in the wake of the latest sample registration survey results, which showed an improvement in the country's sex ratio at birth (number of girls born for every 1000 boys) from 906 to 909 between 2007 and 2013, but a declining child sex ratio (number of girls in 0-6 year age group for every 1,000 boys in the same age group) from 914 to 909 in the same period.

Union Health Secretary Lov Verma said a girl child is often neglected, faces discrimination at home and in some cases they are even killed due to the patriarchal mindset. 'We have started scaling up our MCTS, MCTFC and 'Kilkari' programme as a part of which a pregnant woman is provided prenatal care for 52 weeks till the delivery and takes care of the mother and the child for 26 weeks since the delivery.

'Under MCTS, pregnant woman gets complete and quality antenatal and post-natal care and every child receives the full range of immunisation services. Over 14.24 crore pregnant women and children have been registered in MCTS till now,' Verma said. (Read: India s big plan to end maternal, children deaths by 2035)

The government has also launched Mission Indradhanush, which aims to cover all those children by 2020 who are either unvaccinated, or partially vaccinated against seven vaccine preventable diseases which include diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, measles and hepatitis B, he said.

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As a part of the Mission, 201 high-focus districts have been identified in the first phase which have nearly 50 per cent of all unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children. Of the 201 districts, 82 districts are in just four states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

As per the SRS data released last week, Delhi, Punjab, Rajasthan and Haryana in terms of sex ratios both at birth and CSR, is improving. Six states--Assam, Jharkhand, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal- sex ratio both at birth and in the 0-6 age group are going down. Apart from that, sex ratio at birth has also declined in Andhra Pradesh (pre-division), Bihar, Chhattisgarh, and Himachal Pradesh and CSR has declined in Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh. (Read: Imagine a world without newborn and maternal deaths)

Source: PTI

Photo source: Getty images (image for representational purpose)

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