Gogoi launches country's first model district health project

Sushanta Talukdar

Project aims at reducing infant, maternal mortality rates

Aims to scale healthcare services to all parts of the country by 2015

Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Monday launched the Morigaon Model District Health Project, Health Department's ambitious project, in collaboration with The Earth Institute, Columbia University, and the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Morigaon becomes the first district in the country to have started the project and is among the five districts in the country (the rest being one each in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar) to have been selected under the model district health project.

Mr. Gogoi hoped that the project would aim at reducing infant and maternal mortality rates not only in Morigaon district but in other districts of the State as well by 2015.

Challenging task

Senior adviser at The Earth Institute Nirupam Bajpai said the project aimed at scaling the healthcare services from one district to that of the State, and subsequently to all parts of the country by 2015.

Dr. Bajpai said the task to reduce infant and maternal mortality rates was a challenging one and ‘there is need for inter-sectoral coordination among the different departments and agencies to provide better and effective health services, especially in the remote villages to achieve the objectives of Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

Terming the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) the biggest public health programme in the world, Dr. Bajpai said the mission aimed at reaching out to 600 million people in the country through interventions in a better and effective way. ‘We have the resources, the political will, and if we can put it together, there is no reason why India cannot bring about a sea change in the health sector in the next five years or so.”

Mr. Gogoi underscored need for creating awareness through education about the nutritional benefits of fruits and vegetables to do away with malnutrition, one of the main causes of infant mortality.