Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 29:
Odisha may be the poorest state in the country. But strangely, not a single district in the figures in the list of 184 poorest districts in the state.
The focussed healthcare programme is aimed ensuring equitable health services across regions that suffer from intra-state disparities.
Notably, Odisha has grabbed the headlines after over 40 newborn babies died over the last week at a government-run paediatric institute cum hospital in Cuttack, indicative of the poor state of health services in the state.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday announced that 184 poorest performing districts of the country have been identified for focussed attention in terms of healthcare, involving infusion of resources and conduct of specific programmes. Surprisingly, not a single Odisha district has figured in the list.
Despite a higher infant mortality rate (IMR) and maternal mortality rate (MMR) as compared to the national average, it is surprising that not a single district from the state was included in the list of high priority districts, has surprised one and all and has raised questions on the yardsticks of determining the qualifying criteria.
With this, it has given the state government a shot in its arm to criticise the Union government over Central neglect.
The 184 poor districts identified are: 19 from Uttar Pradesh, 17 from Madhya Pradesh, 10 from Rajasthan and Bihar, 9 from Maharashtra, 8 from Gujarat, Karnataka, 6 from Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, 5 from Haryana, Manipur, Chattisgarh, Punjab and West Bengal, 4 from Meghalaya and Mizoram, Nagaland and Himachal Pradesh, 3 from Kerala and Uttarakhand and one from Pondicherry, Sikkim and Tripura.
Under this programme, special emphasis would be given on childcare and Sick Newborn Care Units (SNCUs) would be opened in these 184 high priority districts.