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India will fight child deaths: Health Minister

It plans to cover over 270 million children from birth to 18 years of age for early identification of birth defects and their free treatment

It plans to cover over 270 million children from birth to 18 years of age for early identification of birth defects and their free treatment 

cmChennai: The government plans to cover over 270 million children from birth to 18 years of age for early identification of birth defects, diseases, disabilities, deficiencies and developmental delays under the Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakrama (RBSK) scheme, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad said.

He also said that children diagnosed with any such illnesses would be managed and treated free of cost under the NRHM.

“India will remain in the forefront of the war against child deaths and do everything that it takes to ensure that no child dies of a cause that can be prevented,” Azad said while inaugurating the health summit ‘India’s Call to Action – Child Survival and Development Summit’ at Mamallapuram, around 70 km from here.

The three-day summit is being organised by the central government in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Azad added that the biggest challenge facing the country is bringing down the neonatal mortality which accounts for 55 percent of under five deaths.

Referring to the role of states in healthcare, the minister said that states would now be able to receive additional funding for introducing sector-wide reforms such as free medicines, creation of a public health cadre and inter-sectoral convergence initiatives.

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