India Day, an official side event organised jointly by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and the development partners in the run-up to the Partners’ Forum 2018, was inaugurated by Preeti Sudan, Secretary (HFW) here on Monday.

Speaking at the function, Sudan stated that flexibility has been at the core of all the initiatives in reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent (RMNCH+A) programme and a major contributor to its success. She further added that states have launched various innovative initiatives under RMNCH+A that encourage people to be partners in their own health and well-being.

Manoj Jhalani, Additional Secretary and Mission Director, stressed on the various aspect of RMNCH+A. “Our focus is on children, adolescents and pregnant and lactating mothers, who we seek to strengthen through a series of initiatives like the Poshan Abhiyaan and Anaemia Mukt Bharat,” he said.

India Day event is aimed to reflect on the journey of the RMNCH+A programme and to share and learn from the good practices and innovations implemented by different States/UTs and organisations to address various health challenges around maternal and child health in order to sustain progress on global goals.

India Day also showcased the key themes through engaging formats such as film and performances to depict the lived realities of key stakeholders.

The RMNCH+A strategy is centred on the continuum of care approach, catering to health needs at every stage of the lifecycle.

RMNCH+A is aligned with the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health and its key programming tenets articulating well-defined targets to end preventable deaths, ensure health and well-being and expand enabling environments, popularly known as the Survive, Thrive and Transform approach. The agenda of the 2018 Partners’ Forum is framed around these objectives. With India Day, the MoHFW has communicated both its approach to this end as well as its commitment.

In India, maternal, child, neonatal and adolescent health gained tremendous momentum since RMNCH+A was rolled out. India’s maternal mortality rate (MMR) has fallen from 556 in the year 1990 to 130 in 2014–16 (SRS data). The country’s progress can be gauged from the 77% decline in MMR that it achieved during 1990–2015, compared to the global decline of 44% during this period. In child health also, India’s achievements have been strong. Under-five mortality rate (U5MR) in India has fallen significantly from 126 per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 39 per 1,000 live births in 2016.