London: India needs to pay a lot of attention to the basic healthcare and wellbeing of its children, especially issues like malnutrition, infant and maternal mortality, leading NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul has said.
Addressing the joint Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) and Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP) Conference here last night, Lord Paul said, "I think what India needs - perhaps more than any other country - is a lot of attention to the basic health care and wellbeing of its children."
"Resources must be coordinated to deal with, in particularly, issues of malnutrition, infant and maternal mortality at grassroots level in the villages. We also need to look at the education of females within these villages."
"As the primary carers of children, it is through the mothers, grandmothers, aunts and sisters that positive health practices and initiatives will be encouraged and developed in children," he noted.
Latest UNICEF data shows that one in three malnourished children worldwide are found in India, while 42 per cent of the nation`s children under five years of age are underweight.
It also shows that a total of 58 per cent of children under five were stunted, the report says.
The one-day conference was hosted jointly by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and the Indian Academy of Paediatrics.
The subject of the conference was `Enhancing scientific collaboration between the UK and Indian sub-continent`.
Lord Paul said the partnership between the College, Academy, and British Association of Paediatricians of Indian Origin is an admirable enterprise and one he would encourage.
"Building upon your success to date and looking to the future, I am pleased to see that the Royal College plans to further its work in India and this is something I support wholeheartedly," he stated.
He noted that he has a small connection with the medical world through his role as Chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton that has a strong health and wellbeing agenda.
"It is one of the largest providers of nursing education in the UK and is home to the Brain Tumour UK Neuro-oncology centre. I am also Chancellor of the University of Westminster which probably has the best Complementary Medicines department in Europe as well as a very successful Department of Biomedical Sciences."