Union Health officials review health care facilities in Odisha

New Delhi: A Union Health Ministry team will review health care facilities in Odisha during a three-day visit to the state, where child mortality rate is high. The officials will focus on health facilities mainly in Koraput, Bolangir, Kalahandi (KBK) and adjoining districts of the state which fall under the high priority districts category in terms of health infrastructure. The state's Bolangir district has the highest neo-natal mortality rate in the country with 72 infants per 1,000 live births dying within 29 days of their birth.

Odisha's Kandhamal district has the highest under-5 mortality rate (U5MR) in the country, with 142 children per 1,000 live births dying below the age of five years in 2011.

Led by Union Health Secretary Keshav Desiraju, the officials would visit the KBK districts to strategise health care delivery interventions to help improve health indicators in the coastal state and will also review the functioning of the National Rural Health Mission there.

They will also hold meetings with chief medical officers, district magistrates, mission directors and officials of the State Health Department during their visit.

Desiraju will be accompanied by Joint Secretary in the Union Health Ministry Manoj Jhalani, who oversees NRHM schemes, and other senior Ministry officials.

The delegation would also visit the new AIIMS-like institute in Bhubaneswar and review the functioning of the hospital attached to it.

The first admissions to the institute were started earlier this year and the Ministry has major expansion plans for it.

Odisha, along with 17 other states including Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram, Sikkim and Tripura are considered High Focus states.

Government aims to improve the public health systems of these states.