U.S. Ambassador to India Nancy J. Powell today met Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and discussed steps that need to be taken to improve the health of the urban poor, and how both countries could work towards development of the health sector.
Powell and Dikshit released a report on the health of urban poor in India. They reportedly discussed health indicators, which highlighted the new anti-poverty programs.
While appreciating India's achievements in the health sector, Powell said that the aim was to address the problems of the urban poor not only in India but also across the world.
"We share a goal not only for India but around the world to address the problems of the urban poor and we feel that the innovation, the spirit, the dedication of people like the chief minister bring us ideas that we can apply not only here in India but we can take them around the world in our various programmes," said Powell.
Powell said the housing loan scheme might get the final nod of the higher authorities keeping in mind the deficiencies in the health sector.
"I heard that Chief minister will have to take a look but I would recommend to all of you that we are very much involved in a new programme, looking for innovative ideas and may be that housing loan comes up under that," she added.
Hailing the efforts taken for improving health and hygiene in the country, Dikshit said that the support and assistance by US would provide a boost to recent developments in the health sector.
"This a tie up between US aid and government of Delhi so that we can make the mission conversions which all of you are very aware and how we can improve and make it better specially in the sector of health and hygiene. At least two lakh people are getting benefit from this. But it is a continuous programme. This particular phase of the programme end on the August 31 and I hope that now they have found us good enough to continue with us," she added
India is the world's second largest urban populated country after China and around 80.8 million people in urban areas live below the poverty line.
Around 60 percent urban poor children do get complete immunization as compared to 58 percent in rural areas.