The Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) programme has been extended until 2013 to further reduce the maternal and infant morality rate, which is still high in the Sindh province, said Sindh Health Secretary Hashim Raza Zaidi. Speaking to health journalists, during a one-day workshop organised by the Association of Health Journalists Pakistan (AHJP) in collaboration with the MNCH programme Sindh, Zaidi said much more work is needed to improve the current situation. “On the completion of this programme, a survey would be conducted to ascertain success and achievements in Sindh.” During the workshop, MNCH Sindh Manager Dr Saheb Jan Badar apprised the health journalists about the current situation of maternal, newborn and child health in Pakistan. “There are 37.9 million women in the reproductive age group – between 15 and 49 years – of which 22 million live in the rural areas. Less than thirty percent women have any antenatal care and about 37 percent women are anaemic. One third of the pregnant and half of the lactating mothers have less than 70 percent of the recommended caloric intake,” she added. “Every minute, a child aged below five dies while every 20 minutes, a woman dies due to complications in Pakistan,” said Badar, adding that there is a need to improve supply and create demand for MNCH services and promote positive behaviours in the day-to-day life of communities and during pregnancy, labour and in postpartum care.