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"India Needs To Increase Healthcare Allocation"

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iGovernment
23 November 2011
New Delhi India

To check high maternal and infant mortality rate, budget allocation for healthcare sector needs to be increased to 5% of GDP, a leading NGO demanded

Seeking higher spending on health services, social activist Shabana Azmi said that the high maternal and infant mortality rate was a blot on India's image.

“The number of pregnant women dying in the country is more than the total number of women's death in Europe in a year,“ Azmi said at the launch of 'No Child Born to Die' campaign by NGO Save the Children.

The campaign aims to create a people's movement to demand better healthcare facilities for every mother and child by increasing the share of budget allocation for healthcare to 5% of GDP, from the current 1.1%.

“I have written a letter to the Planning Commission's Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia stating that allocation of GDP's 1.1 per cent to healthcare be increased to 5 per cent,“ Azmi told newsmen.

She said that there was a dearth of 26 lakh health workers in the country and the vacancies needed to be filled up.

Inaugurating the campaign's web portal Azmi said, “This is really a shocking state of affairs. The government must invest more in health and that must reflect in the country's planning process and greater budget allocation.“

According to Save the Children, every year, 1.73 million children die in India even before the age of five. And nearly 1 million of them die within the first month of their life. The primary causes of these deaths are easily preventable illnesses like diarrhoea and pneumonia.

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