New Delhi: “It is only partnerships that will get us to our goals. Partnerships between citizens, Partnerships between communities, Partnerships between countries. The Sustainable Development agenda is a reflection of this.” This was stated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he inaugurated the Partners’ Forum, 2018. The Prime Minister also released the coffee table book ‘Proven Paths’, a compendium of 36 best practices in maternal, child and adolescent health, at the inaugural ceremony.
J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Deputy Prime Minister of Nepal UpendraYadav, Gabriela Cuevas Barron, President Inter Parliamentary Union, Kim Simplis Barrow, First Lady of Belize, Ashwini Kumar Choubey and Anupriya Patel, Ministers of State for Health & Family Welfare, Preeti Sudan, Secretary and Acting Board Chair, TikhalaItaye, Chairperson, She Decides Global Movementalong with 23 Ministers from 21 countries, representatives from various organizations and participants from 85 countries across the globe were also present at the function.
The Prime Minister said that the Partnership for Maternal, New-born, and Child Health, is a unique and effective platform. “We are not only making a case for better health. We are also making an argument for faster growth,” he added. He further said that India was one of the first countries to advocate focused attention on adolescence and implement an extensive health promotion and prevention programme for adolescents. Our effort ensured that they get their due recognition in the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health adopted in 2015, he mentioned.
Appreciating the Immunization Programme of the country, Prime Minister said that the programme is close to his heart and he is pleased that it’s being featured as a success story in this forum. “Under Mission Indradhanush, we reached 32.8 million children and 8.4 million pregnant women over the last three years. We have also increased the number of vaccines under the universal immunization programme from 7 to 12. Our vaccines now cover life threatening diseases like- Pneumonia and Diarrhoea,” he elaborated.
The Prime Minister stated that the government has launched the Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan to provide best possible care to mothers during pregnancy. “We called upon the private sector doctors to pledge one day of service per month to this campaign. Under this campaign, 16 million Ante-Natal care check-ups have been performed,” he added.The Prime Minister further stated that the country has 25 million new-borns. “Our robust facility based new-born care system, which provides care to more than 1 million new-born babies through 794 Special New-born Care Units, has served as a successful model. As a result of our interventions, 840 additional lives of children under five are being saved each day in India as compared to four years back,” he said.
Speaking at the function,J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare said that under the dynamic leadership of the Hon’ble Prime Minister our efforts are bearing fruits. “We have witnessed an accelerated pace of reduction in maternal and child mortality that is much faster than the global average rate of decline and are poised to attain the related SDG targets much before the target deadline,” he stated
The opening ceremony witnessed and enthralling curtain raiser using projection mapping to display larger than life pre-recorded graphics of Indian women welcoming delegates and a lively animation film of the Partners Forum logo, video with voices of women from across the globe and collage of photographs of women, children and adolescents from various continents of the world. The anthem of the Partners’ Forum was performed by MsAbelone, baby Zoey and MsTarana. The lyrics of this anthem were crowd-sourced from youth participants from around the world including India.
The previous chapters were held in Johannesburg, South Africa (2014), New Delhi, India (2010) and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (2007). This is the second time India is hosting the Partners’ Forum.