Involving stakeholders to tackle IMR, MMR: Kumar

SHILLONG, Nov 22: Principal Secretary of Health department Sampath Kumar has revealed that the state government is taking a systematic approach by involving all stakeholders to address the problem of high Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) in Meghalaya.
Kumar was speaking as the chief guest during a one-day district-level training workshop on ‘Basic Neonatal Resuscitation Programme — First Golden Minute’ in the city on Monday.
According to a statement, the workshop was conducted in collaboration with the Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) and National Neonatology Forum and was attended by the medical fraternity and health experts.
Addressing the gathering, Kumar spoke at length about various government interventions to bring down the IMR and MMR in Meghalaya.
“The state government is taking a systematic approach by involving every stakeholder to address the problem of high MMR and IMR in the state. Community engagement has been at the centre of problem-solving and therefore, realising this, the Village Health Councils (VHCs) have been created across the state where headmen, women-led self help groups and the community as a whole play an important role. A movement to improve health indicators and bring down MMR and IMR is under way, which is being spearheaded by the communities in the state.”
“Meghalaya has about 6,400 villages and most villages are extremely hard to reach. Therefore, under Meghalaya Chief Minister’s Safe Motherhood Scheme (CM-SMS), birthing places or transit homes are coming up where pregnant women from remote areas can stay, at least one week or 10 days before the expected date of delivery. These transit homes are strategically located near the health facilities. Remote areas in districts like West Khasi Hills and South Garo Hills have seen significant reduction in MMR and IMR following this close collaboration between government and private stakeholders and the communities,” he added.
Making a clarion call to improve Meghalaya’s Sustainable Development Goals and strive towards making Meghalaya one of the most developed states in India, Kumar said, “We should work with a vision of having a single-digit IMR in the next 5 five years for Meghalaya. All efforts should be directed towards achieving this goal.”

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