| Health minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey at the news meet in Patna on Sunday. Picture by Jai Prakash |
Experts would deliberate on maternal mortality rate, infant mortality rate and female foeticide at a national conference organised by the health department on January 23.
Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad is scheduled to inaugurate the event.
The department would also organise programmes to mark the birth anniversaries of Swami Vivekananda and Rabindranath Tagore.
Health minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey said: “We would observe this year as Swasthya Jagaran Abhiyan Varsh. Painting competitions would be held in government schools and nursing schools on January 19. We would organise a picture exhibition and a human chain event on January 22 to mark the birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore.”
The minister added: “Chief minister Nitish Kumar will be the chief guest. We have also invited health ministers of other states, principal secretaries of their departments and executive directors posted in different states under the National Rural Health Mission.”
Choubey said: “As far as maternal mortality rate is concerned, we have improved. In 2005, the rate was 312, now it has come down to 262. Our aim is to take the rate down to between 100 and 150 by 2015. We also plan to bring down the infant mortality rate by 2015.”
He added: “Experts from the University of Milan and Sapienza University of Rome are scheduled to take part. Shweta Iluro, director, health and family welfare, Andhra Pradesh would participate. Dr Abhay Bang of Maharashtra, who has been working to reduce infant mortality rate for the past 25 years, has also been invited.”