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New health project for mother, child launched

By Correspondent

MANGALDAI, March 16 - In a boost to the relatively poor performance of the healthcare service to the mother, child and adolescent, a new health project called �Sunehra Kal� implemented by MAMTA � Health Institute of Mother and Child (HIMC), a New Delhi-based non-government organisation under the sponsorship of corporate house ITC, has been launched in Darrang district as the pilot project of Assam.

Bidyut Bikash Bhagawati, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Darrang, in-charge of the Health Department, in a public function held at the Sainik Bhawan on Wednesday ceremonially launched the project by lighting the lamp in presence of several distinguished guests, including Dr Binita Goswami, Superintendent Mangaldai Civil Hospital; Dr Jonali Choudhury, SDM&HO; Sarvashish Roy, Programme Manager, Corporate Social Investments of ITC; Samrat Deka, Director of SRD Group of Companies, local partner organisation of ITC; and Sarbana Choudhury, DPM, NHM, Darrang, among others.

In his speech, chief guest Bhagawati recalled how even after series of government sponsored programmes the district Health Department has failed to achieve the desired result in the quality health care service, especially in the field of maternity and child health. He offered his gratitude to the implementing agency and the sponsors for selecting Darrang as the pilot district of the State and expressed hope that the project with its holistic approach will be able to work as a synergy through the engagement of the government system and the community and thus pave the way for a healthy and beautiful Darrang in days to come.

Earlier, while explaining the objectives of the project, Dr Ajay Kr Singh, the Associate Director of MAMTA � Health Institute of Mother and Child (HIMC), New Delhi, pointed out that the programme in a period of next five years has set a goal to cover a targeted 34,600 young population in the age group of 15 to 24 years along with a child (0 to 6 years) population of 8,662 and pregnant and lactating mother with the same (8,662) population, the data already collected from a preliminary baseline survey and community profiling in a total of nine GPs four within Pub Mangaldai Development Block and five in Paschim Mangaldai Development Block besides Mangaldai town.

The programme which is third of its kind in India after one district each in UP and Bihar would aim at improving women, adolescent and child health and nutrition outcomes to reduce the infant under 5 and maternal mortality as per SDG benchmarks and also enabling environment of child protection for preventing human trafficking, early marriage and providing safe childhood, he added.

The inaugural function was followed by a daylong workshop on �Challenges and Way Forward for Maternal, Adolescent and Child Health Outcomes� where Dr JM Kataki, SDM&HO, Mangaldai, Sweta Banerjee of �Wet Hunger Hilfe�, a German-based organisation, Dr Prashanta Kesharwani. Assistant Professor, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai; Indrani Bhattacharya, Assistant Director, CINI, Kolkata, an organisation for children; and Dr Nirmal Ch Beriya, SDM&HO, Mangaldai; as resource persons discussed different relevant topics, including maternal and child health status in Assam and role of NGOs in NHM and adolescent health and child protection, among others.

The workshop was attended by ASHA, Anganwadi workers, LHS, ANMs, PRI members, Gaon Burhas, mediapersons and other stakeholders besides staff and office-bearers of MAMTA-HIMC, Darrang, including its District Coordinator Diganta Saikia and Project Associate Kangkan Kr Saikia, among others.

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