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Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates the Partners Forum - 2018

“It is only partnerships that will get us to our goals. Partnerships between citizens, Partnerships between communities, Partnerships between countries. The Sustainable Development agenda is a reflection of this.” This was stated by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi as he inaugurated the Partners’ Forum, 2018, in New Delhi on December 12th. The Prime Minister also released the coffee table book ‘Proven Paths’, a compendium of 36 best practices in maternal, child and adolescent health, at the inaugural ceremony.

Shri J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Deputy Prime Minister of Nepal Upendra Yadav, Gabriela Cuevas Barron, President Inter Parliamentary Union, Kim Simplis Barrow, First Lady of Belize, Ashwini Kumar Choubey and Anupriya Patel, Ministers of State for Health & Family Welfare, Preeti Sudan, Secretary (Health & Family Welfare) and Acting Board Chair, Tikhala Itaye, Chairperson, She Decides Global Movement along with 23 Ministers from 21 countries, representatives from various organizations and participants from 85 countries across the globe were also present at the function.

The Prime Minister said that the Partnership for Maternal, New-born, and Child Health, is a unique and effective platform. “We are not only making a case for better health. We are also making an argument for faster growth,” he added. He further said that India was one of the first countries to advocate focused attention on adolescence and implement an extensive health promotion and prevention program for adolescents. Our effort ensured that they get their due recognition in the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health adopted in 2015, he mentioned.

Appreciating the Immunization Program of the country, Prime Minister said that the program is close to his heart and he is pleased that it’s being featured as a success story in this forum. “Under Mission Indradhanush, we reached 32.8 million children and 8.4 million pregnant women over the last three years. We have also increased the number of vaccines under the universal immunization program from 7 to 12. Our vaccines now cover life threatening diseases like- Pneumonia and Diarrhea,” he elaborated.

Speaking at the function, J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare said that under the dynamic leadership of the Hon’ble Prime Minister our efforts are bearing fruits. “We have witnessed an accelerated pace of reduction in maternal and child mortality that is much faster than the global average rate of decline and are poised to attain the related SDG targets much before the target deadline,” he stated

Reiterating the commitment of the Government, Shri Nadda said that the Government is coming closer to realizing the dream of Universal Health Coverage. “The Ayushman Bharat Yojana, which epitomizes political commitment, vision and guidance from the Hon’ble Prime Minister is already being hailed globally as a paradigm shift in healthcare delivery,” he added.

The Union Health Minister said that Ayushman Bharat is a holistic scheme that covers all dimensions of health care namely - prevention, health promotion and primary care through 150 thousand health and wellness centers; as well as in patient care through PMJAY a public funded assurance scheme that provides care of up to Rs. 500 thousand annually to 550 million people, constituting about 40% of the nation’s population. “We are also implementing other country-wide programs like Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan, Mission Indradhanush and Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) for immunization,” Nadda mentioned.

Minister Nadda further said that the Hon’ble Prime Minister has envisioned the concept of ‘Aspirational Districts’ wherein 117 lowest performing districts were identified to be taken up for holistic development. “I am very happy to inform that Health and Nutrition, WASH (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene), Education, are among the sectors that have been given the highest attention for improvement, through a collaborative and multi-sectoral approach. India has also steered the setting up of National Nutrition Mission with an aim of doubling the pace of improving the nutritional status of mothers, children and adolescents, through concerted actions between various departments and stakeholders, he added.

Minister J P Nadda also inaugurated the “Marketplace” at the Forum which is showcasing some of India’s best practices and innovations in reproductive maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health (RMNCH+A); health system strengthening; and communicable and non-communicable diseases. Over 24 best practices/innovations are being showcased under four theme-based pavilions -Ayushman Bharat Hub, Health System Strengthening Hub, Nutrition Hub and Adolescent and Youth Hub.

The opening ceremony witnessed and enthralling curtain raiser using projection mapping to display larger than life pre-recorded graphics of Indian women welcoming delegates and a lively animation film of the Partners Forum logo, video with voices of women from across the globe and collage of photographs of women, children and adolescents from various continents of the world. The anthem of the Partners’ Forum was performed by Abelone, baby Zoey and Tarana. The lyrics of this anthem were crowd-sourced from youth participants from around the world including India.

The Partners’ Forum is co-hosted by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Partnership of Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH). The two-day event brings together more than 1200 participants from 85 countries in New Delhi, to deliberate on issues of health and well-being of women, children and adolescents.

Partners’ Forum is a global health partnership launched in September 2005 to accelerate efforts to reduce child and maternal mortality, improve adolescent, child, newborn and maternal health. This partnership is an alliance of more than 1,000 plus members, across 10 constituencies in 92 countries: academic, research and teaching institutions; donors and foundations; health care professionals; multilateral agencies; non-governmental organizations; partner countries; global financing mechanisms and the private sector.

The previous chapters were held in Johannesburg, South Africa (2014), New Delhi, India (2010) and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (2007). This is the second time India is hosting the Partners’ Forum.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Partners’ Forum, 2018, in New Delhi on December 12th. He also released the coffee table book ‘Proven Paths’, a compendium of 36 best practices in maternal, child and adolescent health, at the inaugural ceremony.

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