New Delhi: Dr Arzu Rana Deuba, the spouse of Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, has urged for cooperation in the field of safe motherhood and child health between Nepal and India in a meeting with officials of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), during a visit to the institute on Saturday.
Dr Deuba said such a dedicated institute is also needed in Nepal and requested to help with development of the necessary human resources and construction of infrastructure. She is currently accompanying Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, who is on a three-day official visit to India that began on April 1.
In the interaction with the experts of the institute, Dr Deuba said that there was a need to establish an institution like AIIMS in Nepal and develop it institutionally, adding that she would talk to Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi about this.
Stating that though continuous efforts of governmental and non-governmental bodies have led to a decline in maternal mortality and infant mortality rate in Nepal, she said the challenge still remains. Support of AIIMS could be useful in this regard, especially in the far-western region of Nepal, where the rate is still high, she said.
Dr Deuba, who is also a central member of the ruling Nepali Congress, has been working in the field of safe motherhood and child health in Nepal for the past three decades. She has been conducting special campaigns in different parts of the country by introducing national and international practices to reduce maternal and infant mortality which is seen as a challenge in Nepal.
Accepting Dr Deuba’s request, Acting Director of AIIMS Prof Dr Nina Khanna said that necessary initiatives will be taken in this regard soon. Dr Khanna said that she was happy to welcome Nepali experts including Dr Deuba, who is Nepal’s first lady with a long experience in the field of safe motherhood and expressed the readiness to work in collaboration with the government of Nepal in this sector.
Dr Ram Padarth Bichha, Health Advisor to the Prime Minister, who holds a MBBS and MD degree from AIIMS, said expansion of AIIMS service to Nepal would be of great help to the country. He said that there is a possibility of working together in the development of skilled human resources, joint research, exchange of experiences and good practice in the field of safe motherhood and child health.
Also present during the interaction were Prakash Bahadur Deuba, the Personal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Private Physician of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers Dr Shail Rupakheti and Deputy Chief of Protocol Rewati Poudel. AIIMS Medical Superintendent Dr DK Sharma, Dr Neeraja Bhatla and Dr Aarti Vij, were among the senior physicians and officials present on behalf of the AIIMS.