Extension of an India-Norway initiative for reducing child and maternal mortality till 2017 will coincide with the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) plan, an official statement said Tuesday.
The Norway-India Partnership Initiative (NIPI), which was launched in 2006, completes its first phase in 2012.
A statement issued from the Norwegian embassy here said an agreement was signed Monday between the two countries in Oslo, extending the programme till 2017.
"NIPI is completing the first phase of operation in 2012 in the focus states of Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar and Rajasthan. Based on the experiences gained and results achieved since the beginning of NIPI, it is proposed to extend the duration to coincide with the new NRHM plan (2013-2017)," it said.
"NIPI will continue with a focus on new born and maternal health, especially interventions at point of care with community health workers," the statement said, adding that it will be operational in the same states.
As per the latest figures provided by the health ministry, country's infant mortality rate has reduced to 47 per thousand in 2010, and maternal mortality rate declined from 254 per thousand during 2004-06 to 212 per thousand in 2007-09.