THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala aims to reduce the maternal and infant mortality rates to 30 and 8 respectively in four years as part of achieving the targets of the ‘Sustainable development goals’ (SDG) of the UN. The government has finalised the targets to be achieved in each area as part of the SDG.
The working groups of health experts that examined the targets announced by the UN have worked out the core areas to focus, adapting them to suit the state’s present epidemiological status and capacity. In addition to the targets listed in the UN documents, Kerala has included targets in dental, ophthalmic and palliative care.
One of the prime targets set by the state is to reduce maternal mortality ratio from 66 to 30 per one lakh live births by 2020. Along with this, the state has also set the goal to bring down infant mortality rate to 8 per 1,000 live births from 12 per 1,000 live births.
As part of SDG goals, the government aims to achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality healthcare services and access to safe, effective and affordable medicines and vaccines for all. It also aims to bring 80 per cent of the population under a prepaid scheme for financial protection. The target is to increase the percentage of persons availing healthcare from government hospitals from 34 per cent to 50 per cent.
Another focus area is non-communicable diseases, which are on the rise. The state’s target is to prevent the increase of blood pressure (HT) among 30 to 40 per cent of the people above 30 years, halt the rise in prevalence of diabetes among 18 to 20 per cent of those above 30 years. For cancer, which is also on a rise, the government has come out with some specific targets. One of the main aims is to reduce smoking in males and tobacco chewing among males and females. It also aims at diagnosing 50 per cent of the oral, breast and cervical cancers in localised stages (Stages I and II for oral cancer; stages I and II A for breast and cervix cancers). The government is also for bringing 85 per cent of health expenditure on cancer treatment through government funding or private pre-payment schemes.
Under the palliative care target, the government aims at setting up ‘Community-based palliative care units’ in all panchayats, integrated care for palliative, geriatric and mentally ill in panchayats, family-level empowerment training at ward level in at least 70 per cent of panchayats and establishment of palliative clinics in community health centres. Kerala has designed the various schemes in accordance with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted at the UN Sustainable Development Summit in 2015. It includes a set of 17 SDGs with 169 targets to end poverty and provide good health and well-being to all by 2030.