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A Raju, Hyderabad May 28 , 2016
The Telangana state government is spending Rs.1,553 crore through women and child welfare department to mitigate the maternal and infant mortality rates in the state. At present the state government has succeeded in reducing the infant mortality rate (IMR) to 28 per every 1,000 births and maternal mortality rate (MMR) to 92 per every one lakh pregnant women in the state, while the national average of IMR is 40 deaths per thousand births and MMR is 167 mother deaths for every one lakh women in the country.

Tummala Nageshwarar Rao, minister for women and child welfare department said, “This year the Telaganana government has allocated Rs.1553 crore for healthcare needs of women and children in the state. The main aim of the government is to reduce the IMR and MMR and we have been successful in our attempt to reduce it on par with the national average. Our target is to reach IMR below 10 and MMR below 40 by end of this year.”

Under the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS), the state government is spending a major chunk of allocated funds for providing healthcare needs such as vaccination and medicines to children below 5 years. Apart from this, to ensure proper nourishment of the children and to reduce the neonatal and malnutrition deaths, the state government is providing eggs and ‘balamrutam’ nutritional food to about 10.06 lakh children in the state.

For reducing the MMR, the state government has earmarked Rs.508 crore to be spent for providing iron tablets, nutritious food and other medication for the pregnant women. About 4.38 lakh pregnant women have been benefiting under the ‘Arogya Laxmi’ healthcare scheme for the women in the state.

Overall the government is providing healthcare and nutritional services to small children below 5 years and pregnant women through 35,700 anganwadi centers in the state.

However, despite all these efforts and continuous spending of about Rs.1,500 crore every year since 3 years, there are still lot of areas that are needed to fill up the gaps. The major problem that is still concerning the government is proper implementation of the ICDS scheme in rural areas. To ensure transparency and avoid rampant corruption, the state government has embarked on employing a tracking and monitoring system, wherein the Anganwadi centers need to update the beneficiaries names every month in the website.

This is going to further improve the efficiency and very soon the Telangana government is aiming to reach its intended goals of reducing the IMR and MMR in the state.

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