DHL adopts 1,000 Maharsahtra villages to reduce child mortality

November 18th, 2008 - 9:18 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 18 (IANS) Leading courier company DHL Tuesday partnered with Unicef and gave a grant of $650,000 to reduce child mortality in 1,000 villages of Maharashtra.The company, in alliance with Unicef and the central government, will empower communities to improve child survival over a period of three years in Nadurbar district.

Unicef will use the fund to strengthen health infrastructure, which includes educating villagers on the prevention and treatment of common communicable diseases, providing immunisation, and micronutrients to infants and young children.

The grant will also be used for setting up village information posts, training midwives and setting up computer equipment for staff training and support.

“The partnership with DHL is a good example of the private sector taking the initiative to champion developmental concerns in rural India complementing the government’s commitment to ‘inclusive growth,” said Vijay Satbir Singh, Secretary of Women and Child Development in Maharashtra.

The target for 2009 is to raise sufficient funds to vaccinate 50,000 children against the six major preventable child killer diseases like pneumonia and diarrohea.

In India, funding by DHL will help accelerate UNICEF’s work with the government to achieve the Millennium Development Goals to reduce the district’s under five mortality rate to 41 per 1,000 live births by 2015. Currently the child mortality rate is nearly 60 per 1,000 live births.

In Nadurbar the situation is worse with at least 68 of every 1,000 children are loosing their battle against life before attending their fifth birthday.

“This Asia partnership reinforces our commitment to support Unicef’s efforts by facilitating access to health services,” said A. Diallo, chief executive, South Asia, DHL Global Forwarding.

Unicef aims to reduce malnutrition among children below three years of age from 58 percent to 30 percent. Similarly, the project aims at reducing infant mortality to 30 per 1,000 live births.

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