Odisha: Health, Fish and Culture

Intricate works of the Konark Sun temple.png
Intricate works of the Konark Sun temple

In his maiden visit to the state of Odisha, Ambassador of Norway to India, His Excellency Mr. Nils Ragnar Kamsvåg, met with the state’s political, commercial and development sectors, from 19-23 March 2017.

During the week-long programme, The Ambassador called on Mr Naveen Patnaik-Chief Minister, Mr. Senayangba Chubatoshi Jamir-Governor, Mr Pradip Kumar Amat, Minister of Health and Family Welfare and Minister of Finance,  Mr Debiprasad Mishra, Minister of Industries, School and Mass Education, Mr Prasad Harichandan, President-Orissa Pradesh Congress Committee, Mr Basanta Kumar Panda, State unit BJP President and Mr Prem Chandra Chaudhary, District Collector-Ganjam. The meetings provided a useful insight into the dynamics of the state’s civil administrative strengths.

The National Health Mission of Odisha organized a two days’ visit to health projects in Bhubaneshwar and Berhampur supported by the Norway India Partnership Initiative (NIPI). NIPI is active in Odisha since 2005 assisting the state decrease its maternal and infant mortality rates. 

As if a timely coincidence with the official visit, reports on Odisha achieving India’s highest point decline in Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) at 40 against the national average of 41, made headlines earlier in the month.

The Ambassador and the Health Minister inaugurated the first nursing skill lab at Capital hospital, Bhubaneshwar. The Ambassador and Mission Director, National Health Mission-Odisha, Ms Shalini Pandit, released national guidelines on Family Centered Care (FCC), Emergency Triage and Treatment (ETAT) and Dakshata. Mr Nils Ragnar visited Sick Newborn Care Units (SNCUs) at Capital hospital and inaugurated a Train the Trainer course at College of Nursing, Berhampur. He had detailed interactions with nurses and faculty who demonstrated nursing skills learnt on Laerdal equipments.

The Ambassador chaired an interactive session of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) where he spoke on existing trade and investment ties between Norway and India and scope for future commercial relationships with Odisha’s industries, particularly in hydropower generation and port development.

The Ambassador spoke at a seminar organized by the Department of Fisheries. Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture and Innovation Norway organized a detailed site visit to show latest techniques on fish harboring, some of which are being practiced using expertise from Norway. CIFA has been having a cooperation with Norway’s Fisheries department since 1992.

The trip was also a sort of a cultural immersion into the ‘Soul of India’. Odisha’s Ministry of Tourism arranged for a guided tour of Konark’s Sun Temple, Lake Chilika (Asia’s largest brackish water), Tribal Museum and Shanti Stupa where a videography on the history of the battle of Kalinga and conversion of Emperor Asoka to Buddhism was presented.