Akshada, which means ‘God's blessings’, is a unique public-private partnership between the Government of Rajasthan, Tata Trusts and The Antara Foundation. The program aims to significantly improve Rajasthan’s status in maternal and child health.
The rationale to address maternal and child health goes beyond improving and saving lives. Better health outcomes for a country have a broader economic impact by contributing to poverty alleviation and economic growth. A healthy child becomes part of a stronger productive workforce; reduced private spending on health translates into more disposal income. Though a country as large as India has enormous challenges in terms of improving maternal and child health outcomes, some states have demonstrated that targeted interventions can work.
India faces daunting challenges to improve child health outcomes and reduce mortality. Lack of complete immunization, anaemia and poor nutrition related stunting are issues that states across the country are battling – some with a lower burden than others.
States across India have had varying success in achieving full immunization for children and securing critical interventions such breast feeding. India’s densely populated states can draw lessons from states that have achieved significant results.
Lives of thousands of mothers can be saved at child birth. Maternal anaemia is widespread across states and continues to make women vulnerable at child birth.
Regular ante-natal check-ups, institutional deliveries and proactive treatment of anaemia are simplest interventions during the course of pregnancy that can save a mother’s life. The health system in states across India is working hard to deploy these interventions at scale as the gap continues to be large.