US extends two child projects in India
Mumbai, March 6 : The US has announced extension of two of its flagship projects on child survival in India by pledging financial support, an official said here Wednesday.
Integrated maternal and child health project (MCHIP) and health of urban poor project (HUP) have been pledged support, said visiting US Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Rajiv Shah.
The MCHIP, with a total funding of $16.4 million, will support the Indian government in establishing quick response teams which in turn will help states on the cusp of accelerating their efforts for child survival.
The HUP programme will continue to support the Indian government in implementing its various urban health initiatives, Shah told reporters here.
"I applaud the Government of India's commitment to saving children's lives by establishing an integrated approach to address reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health," Shah said.
The USAID has also announced a new effort to support diarrhoea management, one of the leading causes of child deaths in India.
Out of the total funding of $4.7 million, the partnership is leveraging $2.4 million from the private sector.
Pharmasynth, an Indian manufacturer of Oral Rehydration Solution, is partnering with the USAID-supported Strengthening Health Outcomes through Private Sector Project in the marketing of zinc syrup in 22 districts of Uttar Pradesh through 1,100 rural health practitioners.
In addition, USAID will work with ITC's e-Choupal network, to scale-up access to Oral Rehydration Solution, zinc, and other health products, across 11 districts.
As part of the new USAID-India strategy on building local partnerships models, Shah said USAID will announce two new alliances totalling up to $24 million.
India and US also renewed their commitment, through USAID to end all preventable child deaths and to strengthen India's Call to Action on Child Survival and Development, at a summit held in Tamil Nadu last month.
"The renewed commitment of partners from the Call to Action Summit will be taken forward on a campaign mode to both urban and rural communities in all states," said Anuradha Gupta, additional secretary in ministry of health & family welfare and mission director, National Rural Health Mission.
Noting that high-impact interventions and tools for child survival have led to a faster than global average decline in India's under-5 mortality rate, Gupta said: "This progress is proof that the technology and the necessary know-how to reach even the most vulnerable children with life-saving practices are available in India."