New Delhi: Child survival rates in Maharashtra’s Nandurbar district are one of the lowest in the country. A three-year grant from express and logistics company DHL India will be utilized to bring down these figures. The company joins hands with the Government of India and Unicef to reduce the district’s under five mortality rate to 41 per 1000 live births by 2015.
The current rate of under-five mortality in Nandurbar is 75 per 1,000 live births. Over half (58%) of children under the age of three are malnourished. Among women and girls, low literacy rates (45%) and marriage before 18 years (60%) contribute to their poor health status resulting in high maternal mortality rates of over 300 per 100,000 live births.
Reducing malnutrition and infant mortality would be focus areas as the grant gets used to strengthen existing government programmes run under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and the Tribal Development Department.
The project aims to impact the lives of 1.4 million people living in the district. Villagers will be educated on prevention and treatment of common communicable diseases, provide immunization and micronutrients to infants and young children while strengthening the district’s health infrastructure. Village health and nutrition plans will be modernized, village information posts set up, midwives trained and computerized facilities made available at district offices.
Vijay Satbir Singh, secretary of Women & Child Development in Maharashtra said, ”working closely with Panchayti Raj Institutions (PRIs), NGOs and government functionaries for planning, implementation and monitoring will help us put in place long-term improvements.”
Amadou Diallo, CEO, South Asia Pacific, DHL Global Forwarding while making the grant announcement expressed satisfaction at being able to contribute towards, ”facilitating access to health services.”