Hyderabad, Jan 12 (Agencies): Despite the achievements made under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), key health indicators like maternal mortality ratio (MMR) and infant mortality ratio (IMR) are still "areas of concern", Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said here on Wednesday.

"In spite of the achievements made so far there are still areas of concern. The pace of decline in various key health indicators like IMR, MMR, Total Fertility Rate and death and morbidity due to communicable diseases has not improved as compared to pre-NRHM period," Azad said.

The minister said this in his inaugural address at State Health Ministers' Conference which began here.

"One of the success stories of the last year was progress of polio eradication after the introduction of biovalent polio vaccine. There have been only 42 cases in 2010 as compared to nearly more than 700 cases in 2009. In the case of TB, we have achieved more than 72 per cent detection rate and 87 per cent cure rate, which are more than the WHO  recommended levels."

Speaking about the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPPCCDCDS) which was initiated in 100 districts across 21 states, he said the programme will now be expanded to all the 650 districts in the country.

Azad also said that government was formulating National Urban Health Mission which would take care of infrastructure needs at district and sub-divisional levels.