US will work with India on child survival issues: Envoy

Last Updated: Thu, Feb 07, 2013 12:31 hrs

U.S. Ambassador to India Nancy Powell on Thursday said her country would work with India on issues related to child survival.

Participating in the inaugural session of the India's Call to Action Summit for Child Survival and Development at Mahabalipuram, near Chennai, Ambassador Powell said Thursday's summit has proved the commitment of India's leaders to the global community and to the children of India.

Stating that the U.S. Government is proud to be a part of this initiative, Powell said: "We look

forward to working with the Government of India on addressing critical child survival issues."

Highlighting the significance of the program, Ambassador Powell elaborated: "It is particularly significant that this summit is being held in Tamil Nadu, a state that has prioritized the strengthening of its health systems and can be proud of improvements in the health of its citizens."

"Improvements in Tamil Nadu's health and social indicators have been possible because of its commitment to strong governance, contributions from civil society, both from NGOs and the media, and its effective partnerships with the private sector," she added.

Acknowledging India's significant strides in reducing the under-five mortality rate from 125 per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 59 per 1,000 live births in 2010, she said, "I believe every child should have the opportunity to survive and grow."

She added: "As India moves forward, please let me assure you, Minister Azad, and the esteemed members of the audience: the United States Government is committed to working alongside the Government of India to promote the agenda of global child survival, nutrition, and development. We will remain actively engaged in supporting the Government of India as it addresses crucial areas such as newborn care, polio eradication, maternal health and family planning, immunization, nutrition, and capacity building."

Apart from Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad, Minister of State, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Gandhiselvan, Ariel Pablos-Mendez, Assistant Administrator, USAID,

William Hammink, USAID/India and Pauline Harvey, CDC participated in the event. (ANI)

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