Dr Nata Menabde, country representative of the WHO, told TOI, “The MDG targets will expire in 2015..

Dr Nata Menabde, country representative of the WHO, told TOI, “The MDG targets will expire in 2015 and not all goals will be achieved by India.” WHO admits that India has been effectively reducing its infant and maternal mortality figures, thanks largely to National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). But experts say the pace hasn’t been satisfactory enough, especially when it comes to infant and maternal deaths. One of the MDG goals is to reduce under-five mortality rate to 42 per 1,000 live births by 2015. India will reach 52 by that year missing the target by 10 percentage points. The national level estimate of infant mortality rate is likely to be 44 against the MDG target of 27 in 2015. Some of the largest states like Madhya Pradesh (62), Odisha (61), Uttar Pradesh (61), Assam (58), Meghalaya (55), Rajasthan (55), Chhattisgarh (51), Bihar (48) and Haryana (48) still have IMR above the national estimates. The national level measure of the proportion of one-year old (12-23 months) children immunized against measles has registered an increase from 42.2% (1992-93) to 74.1% (2009). India is, however, expected to cover about 89% children in the age group 12-23 months for immunization against measles by 2015 — short of universal immunization of one-year olds against measles by about 11 percentage points. India will reach maternal mortality rate (MMR) of 139 per 100,000 live births by 2015, falling short by 30 percentage points. Dr Menabde said the global health watchdogs are looking at how to achieve the set targets post 2015. She said the rollout of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) programme, entitling essential primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare services guaranteed by the Central government to all citizens, will help India achieve its unfinished MDG targets only after 2015. Nearly 50 countries have attained universal or near-universal coverage. Escalating healthcare costs, inadequate public spending, and weak healthcare delivery systems in low and middle income countries have been barriers to UHC. Dr Menabde, however, said it will take at least 10 years for India to reach the goal of UHC that will greatly help cut down on “catastrophic spending from out of pocket”. Questions to be answered: What do you mean by Millennium Development Goals and state the reason behind the failure of India to reach the goals?

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