India to host UNICEF global meet on maternal and child health
New Delhi: India will be the global host of UNICEF's Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health stakeholders meeting, including participation from nearly a hundred countries, this December, officials said.
The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Forum will emphasise the importance of people-centred accountability, bringing forward the voices and lived realities of women, children and adolescents through innovative programming and creative projects.
The Forum will be hosted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in collaboration with the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) this December.
The UNICEF said Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former Chile President Michelle Bachelet and the chair of PMNCH would deliver the keynote addresses.
Gagan Gupta, Chief of Health at the UNICEF, told PTI that India has made significant progress in improving maternal health and child mortality indicators.
"India has performed better than rest of the world in this field and the number of children dying under-five years has fallen by 30 per cent since 2012, from 1.4 million to 989,000," he said.
According to a new report by the United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN IGME), the under-five mortality rate in India was recorded below one million in 2017 for the first time in five years.
Gupta said the Forum, which will be held on December 12 and 13 at Vigyan Bhawan here, will see participation from heads of states, ministers, popular champions, and 1,200 partners from nearly 100 countries.
"India will get an opportunity to present its success story in improving the maternal and child health (indicators) at a world stage," he said.
Moreover, the forum would also bring various stakeholders on a common stage to share their ideas, he said.
This is the second time India is hosting the forum after 2010. The previous chapters of the Forum have been held at Johannesburg in South Africa in 2014 and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania in 2007.