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Health Ministry identifies 117 dist under 'Aspirational Districts' prog, unveils e-Mitra mobile app


New Delhi, Health Ministry's has identified 117 districts under the ‘Aspirational Districts’ programme with a view to quickly and effectively transforming them and also launched e-Mitra mobile application. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in collaboration with Ministry of Women and Child Development, organised a one-day National Workshop for Orientation of District Officials of Aspirational Districts on Health and Nutrition, here on Monday. The event, which was thrown open by Ministers of State for Health and Family Welfare Ashwini Kumar Choubey and Anupriya Patel, unveiled the operational guidelines on Aspirational Districts for Health and Nutrition and launched the e-Mitra Mobile Application. Mr Choubey said most of the developmental gains for the country will come from aspirational districts. Therefore, to achieve equity and accelerated improvements in human development indicators, the Government has focused its energy on these districts, he said. Dr Vinod Paul, Member, NITI Aayog, Rakesh Srivastava, Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development and Preeti Sudan, Secretary (HFW) were also present at the inaugural function. In his address, Mr Choubey added that this is a first of its kind initiative by identifying 117 districts under the ‘Aspirational Districts’ Programme with an aim to quickly and effectively transform them. He added that India has made great progress in the context of health indicators and have practically achieved MDG targets. “The decline in Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) has been the highest since the last several decades. The MMR has declined by 37 points from 167/ lakh live births in 2011-13 to 130/ lakh live births in 2014-16 within a span of just three years. This accounts for an impressive 22 per cent reduction in MMR since 2013,” he said. Addressing the participants, Ms Patel said the Government is committed to achieving the goals of the National Health Policy 2017, and of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. “We have achieved impressive results in terms of accessibility and quality of services which resulted in reduced deaths of mothers, newborns and children, and improved health outcomes overall,” she said. Ms Patel added that in order to address the disparities, which are largely located in pockets within states, the Government has identified 117 Aspirational Districts. “It is expected that sustained and intensive efforts in programme implementation, monitoring and support will improve health and nutrition indicators and ensure that all people have equal access to high quality health care,” she elaborated. The Prime Minister has coined the nomenclature of Aspirational Districts, thereby affirming a commitment to improvement in key indicators of these districts, so as to achieve the vision of a New India by 2022, she said. Dr V K Paul, Member, NITI Ayog, said, 'there is a profound responsibility as Aspirational Districts represent 20 per cent of the geographical area and 20 per cent of the population of the country. He stressed on the need for making more interventions in these districts and said that we require people’s movement so that we can reach out to the people and deliver required services at the ground.' Ms Preeti Sudan highlighted the importance of convergence at all the levels. She laid stress on sanitation and said, 'it is non-negotiable for achieving the health outcomes.' As many as 117 districts have been identified for rapid transformation and inclusive growth. The Reproductive Maternal Newborn Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCH+A) program is an important pillar which will be strengthened under Aspirational Districts Programme. The operational guidelines on Aspirational Districts will provide a framework for implementing action to be undertaken for various health initiatives to guide the state, district, block programme officers and other stakeholders in organizing various activities expected to meet the vision for health by leveraging health and nutrition initiatives to bring transformation in the lives of people and meet their aspirations to be healthy. The e-Mitra (Mobile Integrated Toolkit RMNCH+A ) app has been designed to complement the Aspirational District Programme and offers one stop solution to access RMNCH+A related statistics from different sources through a combination of approaches.

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