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Mothers and adolescent girls should be empowered through communication, says Call for Action Summit, Mammallapuram

Chennai, INDIA, 8 February 2013 - Ms Geeta Rao Gupta, Deputy Executive Director, UNICEF has observed that the key to ensure child survival rests in communicating with mothers and adolescent girls, so that they are empowered. She was speaking at the session on social determinants of child survival at the Call for Action Summit for Child survival and Development being held in Mammallapuram for three days from yesterday.

Quoting a study, Ms Gupta pointed out that every extra year that the adolescent girl child spends in school results in each of her children being ensured of half a year more of formal schooling. She also called for an integrated, cross sectional approach to effectively implement child survival interventions.

Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare presided over the function. In his opening remarks the minister pointed out that the land mark Right to Education Act, passed by the Indian Parliament, has evolved into one of the more significant social determinants of child survival.

Dr Thomas Clasen, an international expert on water and sanitation management also took part in the session.
The Call for Action Summit for Child Survival and Development has been organized by the Union Ministry for Health and Family Welfare in partnership with UNICEF and USAID.

The three day summit is expected to launch a roadmap on Reproductive Maternal, New born Child and Adolescent Health – RMNCH+A. The aim of this programme is to speed up the reduction in the number of preventable child deaths.

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