Combined efforts necessary to reduce maternal mortality: chief secretary Aryal

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Chief Secretary Dr Baikuntha Aryal has insisted on the collective efforts to reduce maternal mortality rate acknowledging that the government’s sole measures are not sufficient to combat it.

In his address to ‘a high-level policy dialogue on the status of maternal mortality in Nepal and the roles of stakeholders’ organised by the Ministry and Health Population on Wednesday, the chief secretary said this.

The achievement in the reduction of maternal mortality rate in recent times was significant, he said. “However, special initiations and actions are needed to meet the target of reducing it to 70 per 100,000 live births by 2030.”

As he said, capacity enhancement of local levels with the allotment of additional support to them was needed so that they could contribute to meet the target. Moreover, he underscored the importance of strengthening health institutions and empowering health workers to minimize maternal mortality.

On the occasion, a document containing major findings from a study of maternal mortality rate conducted by the Ministry at the national and provincial levels was released.

The participants of the programme stressed the need of prioritizing the issue of maternal mortality and its reduction in the formulation of the 16th Periodic Plan.

They were of the view of introducing and implementing effective strategies against the issue, increasing the effectiveness of Air Ambulance Programme, proper management of skilled human resources in the health sector and the availability of quality health services to achieve the target in the containment of maternal mortality.