Union Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar on Tuesday launched a mobile application on parenting which focuses on cognitive developments of children in the first two years.
The first 1000 days establish a solid platform for a child's physical, mental, emotional, cognitive and social health, Pawar said.
India has taken rapid strides in reducing child mortality since 2014 from 45 per 1000 live births to 35 per 1000 live births in 2019, Pawar said after launching the Paalan 1000 National Campaign and Parenting App in Mumbai, according to a Health Ministry statement.
The app, which will provide caregivers with practical advice on what they can do in their everyday routine and will help resolving various doubts of parents, was launched at the Early Childhood Development Conclave.
Accentuating the importance of the early phases of a child's life as its impact can last a lifetime, Pawar said, “The process of a baby's brain development begins during pregnancy and is influenced by a pregnant woman's health, nutrition and environment. After birth, apart from the physical growth, a human baby's brain development paves the way for its future level of intelligence and quality of life."
"We need to understand that the child survival cannot be addressed in isolation as it is intricately linked to the health of the mother. Therefore, the concept of 'Continuum of Care', that emphasises on care during critical life stages in order to improve child survival, is being followed under the national programme.”
She said the child health programme under the National Health Mission (NHM) comprehensively integrated interventions which improved child survival and addressed factors contributing to infant and under-five mortality.
"Hence, our National Health Mission ensures that critical services are made available at home, through community outreach and through health facilities at various levels like primary, first referral units, tertiary health care facilities," she said.
The 'Paalan 1000 - Journey of the First 1000 Days' combines early years coaching for parents, families and other caregivers with services designed to meet families' basic needs. Infants and toddlers are shaped by their experiences and those experiences are shaped by their caregivers.
Caregivers are crucial for a strong start in the first years of life. The programme is aligned with the mission of the Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK), emphasising responsive care and focusing interventions on the first 1000 days, the statement said.
(With PTI Inputs)