Speech by Mr Lian Wee Cheow, SIF Governor, at the Launch of the Enhancing Maternal and Child Health Services Programme, Bangalore, India

Dr. Shalini Rajneesh IAS, Principal Secretary to Government, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Karnataka
Sri. Dr. Umesh. G. Jadhav, Parliamentary Secretary, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Karnataka
Distinguished Guests
Ladies and gentlemen

Good afternoon and thank you for joining us at the launch of the SIF’s “Enhancing Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Services Programme” in Karnataka.

We are delighted and honoured by the presence of Dr. Shalini Rajneesh IAS, Principal Secretary to Government Department of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of Karnataka. We are also grateful to the State Institute of Health and Family Welfare for hosting today’s ceremony.

Today marks the start of a three-year collaboration - by the Singapore International Foundation, Singapore Health Services and the State Institute of Health and Family Welfare - to reduce infant and maternal mortality and morbidity in Karnataka.

This partnership will enable the sharing and exchange of expertise, knowledge and skills between both Singaporean and Indian healthcare professionals to improve care for pregnant mothers and babies. Specifically, to enhance the management of high risk pregnancies and reduce the number of mothers and babies lost at childbirth due to preventable causes. Ultimately, this will lower the maternal mortality rate and infant mortality rate in Karnataka.

Over the course of this project, a team of Specialist Volunteers from the largest hospital in Singapore – Singapore General Hospital, will carry out a series of workshops to train 200 healthcare professionals from tertiary and secondary care government hospitals in Karnataka with the skillset and knowledge to identify and address factors contributing to maternal and infant mortality. Out of the 200 trained Indian healthcare professionals, 40 will be selected as Master Trainers who will then go on to train another 200 more medical professionals, cascading the impact within the community in the next three years. We expect an estimated 100,000 pregnant women and their newborn babies in Karnataka to benefit from this enhanced care.

An undertaking of this scale would not be possible without the support of many parties. We are proud to partner with like-minded organisations committed to working for a better world. Our heartfelt thanks goes to our partners: The Department of Health & Family Welfare, Government of Karnataka, the State Institute of Health and Family Welfare, Singapore Health Services, and specialist volunteers from the Singapore General Hospital. We are grateful to be given the opportunity to work with all of you.

The SIF brings world communities together to promote greater international understanding and development. Our work, be it in healthcare, education, arts, environment or livelihood, seeks to bring people together to share ideas, skills and resources to enrich lives and effect positive change. We look forward to this new partnership and the friendships to be formed between the peoples of India and Singapore – may it be one of many more to come.  Thank you.



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