India and U.S. Recommit to Ending Preventable Child Deaths in India

For Immediate Release

Thursday, March 7, 2013
USAID Press Office

Mumbai, India – The Government of India and the Government of the United States , through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), today renewed their commitment to end all preventable child deaths and to strengthen India’s Call to Action on Child Survival and Development.

At a press briefing in Mumbai today, the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s Additional Secretary and Mission Director, National Rural Health Mission, Anuradha Gupta, said: “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.  This campaign will implement the strategic roadmap on Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCH +A), by harmonizing efforts of all partners and harnessing private sector engagement opportunities, with a focus on the high priority states and districts with weak public health  indicators.” 

Ms. Gupta noted 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.  “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,” said Ms. Gupta.

USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah said,  “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.  The launch of the roadmap, the dashboard, and the scorecard are very significant.  They will help India to effectively plan, monitor, and track the progress to end preventable child death.”

Dr. Shah also announced the extension of two USAID flagship projects for child survival: the Integrated Maternal and Child Health Project, or MCHIP, and the Health of the Urban Poor Project, or HUP.  The MCHIP Project – with total funding of $16.4 million – will support the Government of India in establishing quick response teams for select states to accelerate their efforts for child survival. The HUP program will continue to support the Government of India in the implementation of its urban health programs. 

USAID also announced a new effort to support diarrhea management, one of the leading causes of child deaths in India.  Out of the total funding of U.S. $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 increase access to Oral Rehydration Solution, zinc, and other health products, across 11 districts.

Dr. Shah also shared that, later today, as part of the new USAID/India strategy on building local partnerships models, USAID will announce two new alliances totaling up to $24 million. The alliance with Dasra and Kiawah Trust will generate knowledge, foster innovation, and build local capacity for interventions that reduce maternal and child mortality. The alliance with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and IKP Knowledge Park will identify, fund, and nurture innovative solutions to address India’s tuberculosis epidemic, with a strong focus on engaging the private sector.

The India Call to Action on Child Survival and Development Summit: The Summit organized in Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, from  February 7-9, 2013, provided a strategic platform engaging over 300 delegates, including nearly 60 national and international experts, key policy makers, planners, and implementers from the health sector, representing all states of India, as well as representatives and heads of the United Nations and other development agencies, global health experts and practitioners, civil society members, media, and the private sector, to discuss and debate child survival and development in India.  During the Summit, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare released several strategy documents and operational guidelines. These include the Strategic Roadmap on Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCH +A), a Maternal Health Toolkit, guidelines for pre-service nursing and midwifery education, infant and young child feeding practices, child health screening, and early intervention service, and the National Iron Plus initiative.  To improve accountability and transparency, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare also introduced a National Child Survival Score Card and an  Dashboard to track progress on child survival and development.   For more information, please visit

Last updated: October 28, 2014

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