Anbumani Ramdoss, the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, announced that the Government would be spending Rs. 40,000 crore on the second phase of the Reproductive and Child Health Programme called RCH-II.
Mr. Ramdoss announced this package at the 49th All India Congress of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Kochi yesterday. He said that the challenge in front of the health sector was to reduce the Maternal Mortality Rate, which was 400 deaths per 100,000 deliveries in India. He added that in spite of having better facilities India lagged behind Sri Lanka in this matter. Mr. Ramdoss said that the country would do well to follow the example of Kerala where the MMR was 35 per lakh deliveries. He lauded the efforts which had brought down the infant mortality rate; bust said that more needs to be done. He also announced that in the near future the Government would commission 3000 centres for Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission of HIV. This is in addition to the 380 centres where pregnant women are given anti-retroviral treatment (ART).