Ban Ki-Moon praises PM Modi’s health centric initiatives
UN Secy General Prods India to Cover Last Mile
New Delhi, January 17: It is well nigh impossible. India is certain to earn the ignominy of being unable to achieve Millennium Development Goals set by UN. But UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon soft pedaled the issue while in India recently.
2015 is the deadline for achieving MDG. At the last mile, India is trailing far behind as it has the uphill task of bringing down infant mortality from 53 per thousand live births to less than 30 and maternal morality from 254 per 100000 live births to less than 100. India is trailing because of poor healthcare infrastructure, high mortality rate among children under 5 and poor reproductive health of the women.
In an icon studded event in Delhi on Monday marking 70th UN anniversary, Ki –Moon only nudged India to do more health of children and women instead of plain talk. Others who shared the dais included former ace cricketer and UN goodwill ambassador Sachin Tendulkar, UNICEF national ambassador Sharmila Tagore, Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi and actor-activist Nandita Das. KI-Moon was in India to participate in Vibrant Gujarat Summit in Gandhinagar and went gaga over PM Narendra Modi’s vision for India.
He of course expressed concern about India registering the highest number of deaths of children under 5 and about one fourth of all mothers dying during child birth but tried to underplay India far lagging behind MDG by adding that in India ‘ progress made towards achieving healthcare goals over the years are praiseworthy’. K-Moon seemed mighty impressed by PM Narendra Modi’s commitment to expanding vaccine coverage and his initiative for providing a toilet in every household by 2019 and said these would go a long way in achieving healthcare goals.
According to latest report by Population Foundation of India about 20 lakh children under 5 years of age die every year in India. This accounts for one fourth of the total children deaths globally.
The event, ‘The Future We Want’, focused on the theme ‘the legacy we want to pass on to our children and great-grandchildren’. Pointing towards Tendulkar Ki-Moon said, ‘ The god of cricket will now bat for the UN.’ On the occasion, the UN launched a slogan, ‘Young at 70’.