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04 August 2008
New Delhi, India

An international panel led by Jeffrey Sachs, special advisor to UN Secretary General Ban Ki–moon, will review India’s flagship National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).

A health ministry statement on Monday said the panel would review the progress made by the NRHM, and devise future strategy to boost its functioning and improve healthcare situation in rural India.

Besides Sachs, other panel members include Stephen R. Leeder, director of the Australian Health Policy Institute, Kiyoshi Kurokawa, president of science council of Japan and WHO Commission for Social Determinants of Health, and Tore Godal, special advisor to the prime minister of Norway.

Sachs will meet Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss on Tuesday. The last meeting between Ramadoss and the International Advisory Panel was held on Aug 3, 2006.

The meeting had discussed several health sector issues like quality, training and career progression for the health sector manpower, insurance and risk protection for the poor.

According to the ministry, since its inception three years back, under the NRHM, authorities have trained over 624,000 community health workers at the village level and constituted over 251,000 village health and sanitation committees.

Under the Janani Suraksha Yojana over 6.9 million women, who gave birth to babies at hospitals (49 percent of all births in the country) got financial support.

The ministry also said the country has recorded improvement in immunisation record with 62.4 percent of children being fully immunized from several diseases.

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