Can health spending of 2.5% of GDP only by 2025 help achieve the goals set by India’s National Health Policy?

The long awaited National Health Policy announced a few days ago proposes to raise public health expenditure as a percentage of GDP from the current 1.15% to 2.5% by 2025. The resource allocation to individual States will be linked with their development indicators, absorptive capacity and financial indicators. “There will be higher weightage given to... Continue Reading →

Why rural children in India die of diarrhoea and pneumonia

The reason why a large number of children under the age of five years die of diarrhoea and pneumonia, generally in rural India and especially in Bihar, has become abundantly clear. The results of a study were published a couple of days ago in the journal JAMA Pediatrics. Diarrhoea and pneumonia are the biggest killer diseases... Continue Reading →

Editorial: Strengthening care of the newborn

Tamil Nadu has come to realise in a most tragic manner the high mortality risk faced by preterm babies (those born before 37 completed weeks of gestation), and its unfinished task of saving these lives. Of the 13 neonates who died recently in district hospitals in Dharmapuri and Salem, five were preterm. Both preterm and... Continue Reading →

‘India has the potential to end all preventable child deaths’

  Dr Mickey Chopra, global head of UNICEF’s health programmes explained to me why he was very encouraged by the efforts taken by the government to reduce child mortality, and how these efforts are paying off, especially in States like Bihar. How is India doing as far as meeting the MDG 4 target is concerned?... Continue Reading →

Coverage of antenatal care in India has to be increased: WHO

  In 2013, globally, preterm birth complications were responsible for 15 per cent (0.96 million) of deaths in children under five years of age. It is a leading cause of death in neonates (0-27 days after birth). According to WHO, about 15 million babies are born preterm (before 37 completed weeks of gestation) every year.... Continue Reading →

Preterm births and pneumonia kill most children under five years in India

  Of the 6.3 million deaths in children under the age of five years, nearly 44 per cent of deaths during 2000-2013 occurred during the neonatal period (0-27 days after birth). Preterm birth complications, pneumonia and intrapartum-related complications have been found to be the three main causes of death in children globally. The results are... Continue Reading →

‘There is fantastic immunisation coverage in India’

Both child and maternal mortality have reduced by 50 per cent since 1990, and compared with previous decades, the average rate of reduction in child mortality during this decade has more than doubled. Dr. Flavia Bustreo , Assistant Director General at WHO explained to me that the reasons why the Millennium Development Goal ignored newborn mortality reduction... Continue Reading →

Finally, neonatal mortality prevention gains attention

  Following the approval of the Every Newborn Action Plan by the ministers last month in the World Health Assembly, a new global action was launched on June 30 in the Partner’s Forum in Johannesburg to bring in significant new financing, policy and service delivery commitments that could save the lives of newborns and mothers.... Continue Reading →

Ten countries that were on a fast-track to achieve the MDG 4 & 5 goalss

  While a majority of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are struggling to meet the Millennium Development Goal 4 and 5 of reducing child mortality and improving maternal health, in 2012 ten countries with similar resources were on the “fast-track” of achieving the targets, notes a June 30, 2014 Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child... Continue Reading →

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