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Andhra Pradesh & Telangana states record highest number of neonatal deaths in South India

Our Bureau, Hyderabad
Tuesday, November 28, 2017, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states have recorded highest number of neonatal deaths in south India. According to a Sample Registration System (SRS) survey of Registrar General of India, out of a total 6.85 lakh neonatal deaths in India annually, both TS and AP contribute 5.5 per cent to the total neonatal mortally in the country.

As per the survey reports,  the rate of neonatal mortality rate in Telangana is recorded as 25 deaths per every 1,000 live births while for Andhra Pradesh this rate is a little higher at 26 deaths per every 1,000 live births.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), the Neonatal Mortality rate is termed as number of infants’ deaths in the first 28 days for every 1000 live births.

Ironically, the Telangana and Andhra Pradesh state governments which are claiming to have given highest priority to healthcare and particularly stressing focus on child and women healthcare by allocating huge funds has fared badly in this survey and a matter of worry for the healthcare policy makers in the state.

According to experts from Public Health Department, the main reasons for highest neonatal deaths in the state is because of lack of quality of healthcare that is available at state run birthing centres. Though the state governments both in AP and TS are showering huge funds for infrastructure developments and installation of advanced medical equipments in the hospitals, they have failed to realise the importance of employing well trained experts at the birthing centres. “Though it is true that upgrading infrastructure does play a significant role in reducing the mortality, the more vital aspect is the quality of healthcare that is available at the state run birthing centres and availability of well trained healthcare workers to provide safe delivery options for pregnant women,” says Vakati Karuna, Commissioner, Child and Women Welfare Department, government of Telangana.

However, taking cognizance of the survey reports, the state government of Telangana has taken some important measures to save the lives of neonates in the state. As part of this, the government of Telangana is working closely with UNICEF and public health experts who specialise in infant care. Moving ahead with the initiative, Arogyasri Trust and ACCESS Health International have launched a programme called ‘Safe Care’. The main aim of this project is to ensure quality improvements in all birthing centres across the state.

As part of improving healthcare quality in birthing centres, the state government of Telangana has for the first time in India has launched a midwifery course and is planning to expand it to all the district hospitals. The main objective of this course is to train the nurses in safe birthing practices and maintain standard protocols that are followed while delivering a baby, which matter a lot in saving infants.  Another most important aspect to save neonates is to identify the high-risk pregnant women at the right time and guiding them to the right place.

 

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