Odisha prepares Rs 211 crore scheme to tackle IMR, MMR

Bhubaneswar: In a bid to bring down the Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) and Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) in the state, the Odisha government has decided to launch a Rs 211 crore special scheme for five years.

The state government which has already allocated Rs 95 crore for the purpose, will provide the entire fund from its own resources.

Chief Secretary A P Padhi said he has asked the departments of Health and Family Welfare and Woman and Child development to integrate various initiatives for ensuring the scheme’s success.

Though the official data shows that the IMR in Odisha is on a declining trend, the recent deaths of 19 children allegedly due to malnutrition at Nagada village in Jajpur district, has forced the government to take special care of children and pregnant mothers.

According to a survey, the IMR which was 51 per 1,000 children born in Odisha in 2013, has come down to 49 per 1,000 children in 2014 as against the national average of 40 per 1,000 children. Similarly, the MMR has also been reduced to 222 per 1 lakh women in the state.

At least 15 of the 30 districts of the state have been identified as prone to infant and mother death cases.

The districts are Bolangir, Boudh, Deogarh, Gajapati, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Keonjhar, Koraput, Malkangiri, Sonepur, Mayurbhanj, Nabarangpur, Nuapada, Rayagada and Sundergarh.

The scheme will be implemented in 161 backward and remote blocks of the 15 districts, said Health and Family Welfare Secretary Arati Ahuja.

While the government has earmarked a fund of Rs 211 crore for the scheme to be spent in the next five years, around Rs 95 crore has been provided for the purpose so far, officials said.

An amount of Rs 5 crore to Rs 10 crore has been allocated keeping in view the requirement of each of the districts, they said.

Besides imparting training to the staff, the state government has formed 15 teams for proper implementation and evaluation of the scheme.