Thane: UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi will launch a Rs 130 crore children’s health programme in Palghar in the Thane district on Wednesday. The programme, ‘Child Health Screening and Early Intervention Services’, an initiative of the Union Health Ministry, is aimed at improving the quality of life of children through early detection of birth defects, diseases, deficiencies among others, officials said.

Hectic preparations were underway in Palghar, a tribal dominated region in Thane district, for the Congress president’s visit. More than 20,000 children are to be benefited from the health care programme.

Incidentally, Palghar is likely to be carved out as a separate district from Thane later this year and political observers feel that an announcement to this effect could be made at tomorrow’s event. Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad and Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan will accompany Sonia on the occasion.