Maternal, infant mortality still areas of concern: Azad

Key health indicators like maternal mortality ratio (MMR) and infant mortality ratio (IMR) are still "areas of concern", Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said on Wednesday.

Updated: Jan 12, 2011, 14:56 PM IST

Hyderabad: Despite the achievements made
under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), key health
indicators like maternal mortality ratio (MMR) and infant
mortality ratio (IMR) are still "areas of concern", Union
Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said here on Wednesday.

"In spite of the achievements made so far there are still
areas of concern. The pace of decline in various key health
indicators like IMR, MMR, Total Fertility Rate and death and
morbidity due to communicable diseases has not improved as
compared to pre-NRHM period," Azad said.

The minister said this in his inaugural address at
State Health Ministers` Conference which began here.

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

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

Speaking about the National Programme for Prevention and
Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and
Stroke (NPPCCDCDS) which was initiated in 100 districts across
21 states, he said the programme will now be expanded to all
the 650 districts in the country.

Azad also said that government was formulating National
Urban Health Mission which would take care of infrastructure
needs 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 in
maternal and infant mortality rates, population stabilisation,
prevention and control of infectious diseases, National
Vector-Borne Disease Control Programme, Revised National TB
Control Programme and strengthening of disease surveillance
systems.

PTI