India has taken rapid strides in reducing child mortality since 2014: Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar

“India has taken rapid strides in reducing child mortality since 2014 from 45 per 1000 live births to 35 per 1000 live births in 2019”, stated Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar, Union Minister of State as she virtually launched the Early Childhood Development Conclave, Paalan 1000 National Campaign and Parenting App in Mumbai. Dr Vinod K Paul, Member (Health & Nutrition), NITI Aayog was also present on the occasion.

Accentuating the importance of the early phases of a child’s life as its impact can last a lifetime, Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar said, “The process of a baby’s brain development begins during pregnancy and is influenced by a pregnant woman’s health, nutrition and environment. After birth, apart from the physical growth, a human baby’s brain development paves the way for its future level of intelligence and quality of life. Each day of this journey is special and influences the way a baby develops, grows and learns – not just now, but for her entire life. We need to understand that child survival cannot be addressed in isolation as it is intricately linked to the health of the mother. Therefore, the concept of ‘Continuum of Care’, that emphasises on care during critical life stages in order to improve child survival, is being followed under the national programme.”

She further noted that the first thousand days encompass the conception as well as the first two years of a child’s life and during this period, the growing child needs the right nutrition, stimulation, love and support. “The first 1000 days establish a solid platform for a child’s physical, mental, emotional, cognitive and social health”, she highlighted.

“The child health programme under the National Health Mission (NHM) comprehensively integrated interventions which improved child survival and addressed factors contributing to infant and under-five mortality. Hence, our National Health Mission ensures that critical services are made available at home, through community outreach and through health facilities at various levels like primary, first referral units, tertiary health care facilities”, she said.

About Paalan 1000 National Campaign and Parenting App

‘Paalan 1000 – Journey of the First 1000 Days’, focuses on the cognitive development of children in the first 2 years of their life. Paalan 1000 combines early years coaching for parents, families and other caregivers with services designed to meet families’ basic needs. Infants and toddlers are shaped by their experiences – and those experiences are shaped by their caregivers. Caregivers are crucial for a strong start in the first years of life. The programme is aligned with the mission of the Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK), emphasizing responsive care and focusing interventions on the first 1000 days.

PAALAN 1000 parenting app will provide caregivers with practical advice on what they can do in their everyday routine and will help resolve the various doubts of parents and will direct our efforts in the development of a child. Cognitive development of children under 2 years is a major focus area of this PAALAN 1000, and have focused on the 6 principles on Maximize Love, Talk & Engage, explore through Movement and Play, Read and Discuss Stories, Mother’s Engagement with the Child while Breastfeeding and Managing Stress and Staying Calm.

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