Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Monday asserted that his government has accorded top priority to the health and education sector to ensure all round development of the state.
Launching the Morigaon Model District Health Project, in collaboration with the Earth Institute of Columbia University and Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare,
the Chief Minister said the project would aim at reducing infant and maternal mortality rates not only in Morigaon but also in other districts by 2015.
Lauding the efforts of Dr Nirupam Bajpai, senior advisor of Earth Institute, Gogoi said the expertise to be provided by his team would help to improve the health sector in the rural areas of the State and to achieve the Millenium Development Goals by 2015.
He also stressed on the need for creating awareness through education about the nutritional benefits of fruits and vegetables to do away with malnutrition, one of the main
causes of infant mortality.
The Chief Minister assured Dr Bajpai of all help for successful implementation of the project in Morigaon, which is the first district in the country to have started the project.
Dr Bajpai said Morigaon was among the five districts in the country (the rest being one district each in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar) to have been
selected under the model district health project.
Bajpai further pointed out the task to reduce the infant and maternal mortality rates was a challenging one and there was a need for inter-sectoral coordination among the different departments and agencies to provide better and effective health services.
The model district health project aims at scaling the health care services from one district to that of the state and subsequently to all parts of the country by 2015, he said. The project would address other key health determinants such as nutrition, water and sanitation, essential for leading a healthy and vigorous life, he said.
Terming the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) as the biggest public health programme in the world, Bajpai said the mission aims at reaching out to 600 million people in the country through interventions in a better and effective way.
``We have the resources, the political will and if we can put it together there is no reason why India cannot bring about a sea change in the health sector in the next five years
or so,? he added.
Additional Chief Secretary, in charge of health, P P Verma said the model district health project would be able to induce better health care services to the people of the State.