New Delhi, Dec 10 (PTI) Union health secretary Preeti Sudan inaugurated on Monday ‘India Day’, organised jointly by the ministry and the development partners ahead of a global meet on infant and maternal health.

The two-day meet — Partners’ Forum — will be held in New Delhi, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurating it on December 12. It will be attended by several global leaders and ministers.

The ‘India Day’ event aims to highlight the government’s Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCH+A) programme and learn from the practices and innovations implemented by states, Union territories and organisations to address challenges in the maternal and child health sector.

Maternal, child, neonatal and adolescent health gained tremendous momentum in India since the RMNCH+A was rolled out, the Union health ministry said in a statement.

Inaugurating the ‘India Day’ event, Sudan said flexibility has been at the core of all initiatives under the RMNCH+A programme and a major contributor to its success.

Manoj Jhalani, the additional secretary and mission director, spoke about various aspect of RMNCH+A and stressed that the government recognises the crucial significance of the first 1,000 days in a child’s life.

“Our health cadre and midwifery services are geared at this. Equally, 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.

Besides providing a platform for expressing the vision and achievements of RMNCH+A by major stakeholders, ‘India Day’ also showcased the key themes through engaging formats such as film and performances. India’s maternal mortality rate (MMR) has fallen from 556 in 1990 to 130 in 2014 16 according to data provided by Sample Registration System.

The country’s progress in this regard can be gauged from the 77 per cent decline in MMR that it achieved between 1990 and 2015, while the global decline was 44 pc during the same period.

In child health also, India’s achievements have been strong. The under-five mortality rate (U5MR) in the country has fallen significantly, from 126 per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 39 per 1,000 live births in 2016.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.