MD Speaks
Dear IPEans,

Despite efforts over centuries, gender equality, especially in developing countries, still remains one of the major items on the 'to-do' list.

Since 8 March is International Women's Day, it is a good time to reflect on the progress made, call for change and celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.

And what better voice than Nobel Prize Winner Malala Yousufzai whose quote is the spirit of this month's wallpaper: "We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back." Indeed we can't.

At IPE Global we are not only working on development issues of girls and women in education, health, nutrition and empowerment, but are proud to have a positive gender balance in our team of excellent dedicated professionals.

IPE Global has launched the social media campaign on #‎PledgeForParity from 1-8 March 2016 to commemorate the upcoming International Women's Day theme 'Planet 50-50 By 2030'.

You can support this campaign by Liking the post at www.facebook.com/IPEGlobal.

IPE Global is proud to make a difference with its positive actions for greater gender equality. Here’s wishing all of us a very 'Happy Women’s Day'.

Best wishes
- Ashwajit Singh
Editorial

Dear *|FNAME|*

With the World Health Day and Immunization Week next month, we look at one of the most grappling issues of ending preventable maternal and child deaths in India. We try to look through the various schemes and flagship programmes which are being run by the government of India to ensure the safety of the duo.

How prepared are we to handle the new SDG Goal 3 for promoting good health with a special emphasis on how to improve maternal health? The news of the Month also lays emphasis on how India as a country faces certain challenges in ensuring a robust immunization cycle for every mother and child.

In this edition you can also read about aid received from donor agencies and other important announcements in development sector.

Happy reading and be inspired!

- Rebika Laishram, Kriti Pandey

News Of The Month
Immunization programmes and coverage in India

In August 2015, Call to Action Summit- ending preventable maternal and child deaths”- was co-hosted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India and the Health Ministry of Ethiopia, in partnership with USAID, WHO and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Tata Trusts and UNICEF where the Indian Prime Minister announced that mothers and newborns were now free from tetanus at the time of birth in India. The source of this announcement was a report by World Health Organization(WHO) which has now placed India on the list of countries who have successfully implemented Maternal and neonatal tetanus elimination (MNTE).

But as we recall the announcement it is equally essential to realize that tetanus cannot be eradicated as the spores of the germs are still present in the environment unlike other diseases like Polio etc. With the upcoming week of immunisation in the month of April, it’s time we revisit how government and development sector have time and again emphasised the need for complete vaccination and immunization of the mother and child.

Specifically catering to the immunization needs of the children who are either partially vaccinated or unvaccinated government of India initiated ‘Mission Indradhanush’ to provide full immunization coverage to 90% by 2020. There are also other programmes like Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health initiative, Janani-Shishu Suraksha Karyakram, India Newborn Action Plan but are these catering to the goals? Inspite of these programmes India had missed its targets for Millennium Development Goal 5, to reduce its MMR by 75 % between 1990 and 2015.

The new SDG Goal 3, good health and well-being which ensures healthy lives and promotes well-being, also mentions the need to improve maternal health. The specific target mentions that ‘by 2030 reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births specific maternal health indicator.’ How much can India contribute in achieving this target? The sheer size of the population means that progress made by India to a large extent also determines the global success of this particular SDG.

The overall progress in improving the maternal healthcare has been uneven, a major reason being lack of a robust immunization cycle for the mother and the child. In India some researchers have also noted gender discrimination in vaccination where families in rural areas often neglect and discriminate female child. There is also a relationship between mother’s academic and education background and her child’s immunization coverage. In a diverse country like India one can also not forget other factors like caste /tribe which also affect full immunization.

It remains to be seen how well the government and the development sector aims to handle such factors.

Aid Round Up

India cuts annual grant to Nepal by 40 percent

The Indian government through its union budget for fiscal year 2016-17 allocated Rs4.8 billion (IRs3 billion) for Nepal against Rs6.4 billion (IRs4.2 billion) the previous year...... Click here

GoI & World Bank Sign US$ 300 Million to Improve Learning Outcomes in Madhya Pradesh

Government of India, the Government of Madhya Pradesh and the World Bank signed for the Madhya Pradesh (MP) Higher Education Quality Improvement Project..... Click here

Bangalore seeks ADB aid for mega infra projects

Chief Secretary Arvind Jadhav on Wednesday said the State government had sought financial assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB)......Click here

Development News Round Up

Asian Development Bank revises India's growth projection to 7.4% for FY16

Earlier, the bank had forecasted the GDP growth rate of 7.8% for the fiscal year 2016-17. ...... Click here

GST will integrate Indian economy, help attract FDI: ADB’s chief

ADB president Takehiko Nakao has pitched for roll out of the Goods and Services Tax...... Click here

Development of Zika virus vaccine underway in India: WHO

India is among five countries where projects are underway to develop vaccines to fight the deadly Zika virus......Click here

 
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