India to attain SDG target in maternal mortality much ahead of 2030: Nadda

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New Delhi, June 11 (IANS) Union Health Minister J. P. Nadda on Monday said India will achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target in maternal mortality much ahead of 2030 while the government’s Ayushman Bharat, popularly known as Modicare, is aimed at changing the face of the country.

“Going by the pace of progress we made in maternal mortality, I am sure the country will achieve the SDG target of 70 maternal deaths per lakh (100,000) live births much before the 2030 target,” Nadda said as he highlighted the achievements of his ministry in the last four years.

The country reduced its Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) by 37 points from 167 in 2011-2013 to 130 in 2014-16 with an annual compound rate fall of eight per cent, due to strategic changes including focus on life cycle approach and multi-sectoral approach, he said.

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The minister went on to give a timeline for world’s largest government run healthcare programme Ayushman Bharat, which has two components — medical coverage for 10 crore families and conversion of 1.5 lakh primary health centres to Health and Wellness Centres.

“On June 14, at least 12 states will be signing Memorandums of Understanding (MoU). Some of the states in north India have already signed the MoUs. We have completed the talks with IT institutions who will lay the platform for paperless, cashless and portable service.

“By second-third week of July, we will be ready with the IT platform. Identification of beneficiaries in rural areas is done 80 per cent. We want to provide a glitch-free system from the start. So, once the IT testing is done, the Prime Minister will launch the programme,” he said.

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The National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS), under the Ayushman Bharat programme, provides medical cover of Rs 5 lakh per family per year for 10 crore poor and vulnerable families, which is about 50 crore individuals or 40 per cent of the country’s population.

“Modicare is the world’s largest healthcare programme. Its objective is not political. It is for changing the face of the country. Obamacare may be something else but Modicare is about the need to change the face of the country. We will solve all problems that will come our way,” said Nadda.

–IANS

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