Nov 14, 2010
Women's education is a powerful driver of health, childcare
‘India has played a major role in reducing global poverty'
NEW DELHI: President Pratibha Patil on Saturday underlined the need for strong economic growth for achieving the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals (MDG). She stressed the need to promote education among women, as it was a powerful driver of health and childcare.
Addressing the ‘International Conclave on 2010 Partners' Forum: Innovation and Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health,' Ms. Patil said the global economic recovery would help in achieving two major goals of MDG — poverty alleviation and maternal health.
“So far as India is concerned, our economy has shown resilience and is expected to grow by over 8 per cent this year and then further accelerate,” she said, pointing out that the country had played a major role in reducing global poverty.
“India has been major contributor to poverty reduction… this has been acknowledged in the U.N. Secretary-General's report on MDG.”
Stating that India recognised its burden of maternal, newborn and child mortality as one of the highest in the world, the President said: “The curative aspect of healthcare is very important, but along with it, a broad approach that looks at the entire range of health care from preventive to rehabilitation should be adopted, which can result in a higher dividend in terms of healthy individuals.”
She said the relationship between poverty, lack of education and limited access to health services was well recognised. “India has recently enacted a Right to Education Act, under which all children in the 6-14 age group will receive free education. When fully realised, this will have a profound impact on health indicators as well,” she added.
Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said that for ensuring a rapid reduction in maternal and child mortality, the government had identified 250 backward and inaccessible districts accounting for one-third of the population.
The conference was organised by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in collaboration with the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health — an alliance of governments, U.N. agencies, professional bodies, non-governmental organisations and civil society groups, which was launched here five years ago to support global health efforts.