Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday inaugurated Partners’ Forum, an international conference organised to improve the health and well-being of women, children and adolescents, in New Delhi.
“The health of mothers will determine the health of the children and the health of children will determine the health of our tomorrow,” Modi said addressing the forum which has been organised by the Central government in association with the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH).
Hailing India’s achievement in reducing mortality rates for women and children, the PM said that India had one of the world’s highest mortality rates for women and children when the Millennium Development Goals were agreed on.
“With sustained momentum, and a faster rate of decline during the last few years, India is on course to attend the SDG targets for maternal and child health, much ahead of the agreed date of 2030,” Modi said.
Underlining the path that the nation took to achieve the feat, Modi said that India was one of the first countries to advocate focused attention on adolescence and implement an extensive health promotion and prevention programme for adolescents.
“Our effort ensured that they get their due recognition in the Global Strategy for Women’s Children’s and Adolescents’ Health adopted in 2015,” he said at the fourth edition of the forum in which about 1,500 participants from 85 countries are participating.
The PM reiterated India’s commitment to work towards providing universal health coverage to all.
“I would like to stress on the need for multi-stake-holder partnerships for achieving success. In all our endeavours, we are aware that effective healthcare, especially for women and children, is best organised through convergent action,” he said.
He said that India stands ready to support other countries in the march to achieving their development goals through skill and training programmes, provision of affordable medicines and vaccines, knowledge transfers and exchange programs.
“We have our task well laid out and we continue to work with utmost dedication and devotion to provide health for all. India shall always stand together with all the partners in solidarity,” the PM said.
Speaking on the first day of the two-day event, the PM highlighted a series of schemes and policies undertaken by his government towards providing advanced, affordable and accessible healthcare facilities to the people of the country such as Mission Indradhanush and Ayushman Bharat Yojna.
The PM said that the formidable force of one million registered Social Health Activists or ASHA workers and 2.32 lakh Anganwadi Nurses and mid-wives are the strength of our programme.
At the forum, 12 success stories from around the world will be discussed, which the PM described as an “opportunity to learn from each other”. The case studies will be published in a special Partners’ Forum edition of the BMJ (originally called British Medical Journal) and disseminated widely.
From India, Intensified Mission Indradhanush has been selected as one of the case studies under Quality, Equity and Dignity (QED) theme.
The mission of PMNCH is to support the global health community to work successfully towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly the health-related SDGs as articulated in the Strategy for Women’s Children’s and Adolescents’ Health in support of ‘Every Woman Every Child’ (EWEC) movement, the Prime Minister’s Office said.
The invited countries have been selected from across all regions and income levels and nations that are currently chairing key global and regional bodies, including G7, G20, BRICS, and others.
This is the second time India is hosting the Partners’ Forum. The last one was held in 2010. The previous chapters were held in Johannesburg in South Africa in 2014, and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania in 2007.