Chief of UNICEF Office for Tamil Nadu and Kerala talks at UoH

Dr. Satish Kumar, Chief of UNICEF Office for Tamil Nadu and Kerala recently visited the University of Hyderabad (UoH) and delivered a lecture titled, Experiences of Kerala and Tamil Nadu in Reducing Infant and Maternal Mortality Rates – Lessons for Other states in India. The lecture was organized as part of capacity building primarily for the Masters in Public Health (MPH) students of the University. Faculty and staff of the School of Medical Sciences also attended.


India is in a race against time to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5, to reduce Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) to ‘28’ per 1000 live births and Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) to ‘109’ for 100,000 live births, by 2015. A fillip to the efforts in India has been the launch and implementation of the flagship comprehensive National Rural Health Mission programme across the country in the last 6 years.

Dr. Kumar in his lecture detailed the achievements of the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala on how they have been able to reduce the problem of infant and mortality rates and have already achieved the targets of Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 before the end date of 2015. The lecture provided valuable insights into measures taken by these 2 states at the public institution level and policy level to achieve the results. The lecture also provided ideas to other states and countries on how these achievements are possible even in resource poor settings and have impacts on Socio-Economic Development.

Dr. Satish Kumar has more than 30 years of teaching, research and service experience in the field of public health and community medicine. After his graduation in medicine and post graduation in Preventive and Social Medicine in the famous Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University as well as being a Member of the National Academy of Medical Sciences in the same discipline, he took up his assignment at UNICEF. He has been Chief of Field Offices for Rajasthan and now Tamil Nadu and Kerala since the last 13 years.


by B R Shamanna, faculty in the School of Medical Sciences