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Posted at: Mar 9, 2019, 8:11 AM; last updated: Mar 9, 2019, 8:11 AM (IST)

Karnal betters newborn, maternity health care

Neonatal & mother mortality rates have come down

Parveen Arora

The state Health Department has successfully brought down the infant mortality rate (IMR) and the maternal mortality rate (MMR) in Karnal district. The IMR has improved by 11 points from 33 deaths per 1,000 live births during 2015-16 to 22 deaths per 1,000 live births in four years and the MMR has improved by 10 points from 147 deaths after one lakh live births during 2017-18 to 137 deaths after one lakh live births during 2018-19.

Deaths due to postpartum infection are still a challenge. The neonatal mortality rate (NMR) has also improved from 24 during 2015-16 to 17 this year. The achievement is far better than the Haryana IMR, which was 33 during 2017-18.

The Health Department data show as many as 909 infant deaths during 2015-16. The efforts of the authorities bore fruit during 2016-17 and the number of infant deaths reduced to 638 and the IMR came down to 23. During 2017-18, the IMR rose to 24 and during 2018-19 with improvement of 2 points, it came down to 22. Pre-mature deliveries, sepsis and birth asphyxia are the most common reasons behind the IMR.

“We have achieved  improvement in the mortality rates due to continuous efforts of our field staff and doctors. Health workers tracked every expectant mother and provided care to her and new mothers as well. We are making efforts to bring down both IMR and MMR,” says Dr Rajinder Kumar, Deputy Civil Surgeon (NHM).

However, government-run hospitals still have a long way to go. Out of 442 infant deaths during 2018-19, 90 took place in two major government-run institutes — 55 at Kalpana Chawla Government Medical College and Hospital (KCGMCH) and 35 at the Civil Hospital, where special neonatal care units are without the ventilator facility.

Due to the non-availability of ventilators, patients have to go for costly treatment at private hospitals. Besides, the Civil Hospital requires seven doctors for the paediatrics OPD as well as for round-the-clock supervision of the special neonatal care unit. It has two regular and one contractual paediatrician at present.

Dr Piyush Sharma, Principal Medical Officer, Civil Hospital, says, “Ventilators are required at the neonatal intensive care unit. We have requested the governmentto fill the post of paediatrician”. 

The health authorities are struggling to overcome the causes of the MMR such as infection during delivery, anaemia, and fits. According to a report, the maximum 27 per cent deaths happen due to postpartum infection, also known as bacterial infections of the female reproductive tract following childbirth or miscarriage, poor maternal hygiene, while around 13 per cent deaths are due to postpartum haemorrhage or excessive vaginal bleeding, 10 per cent due to fits, and 9 per cent due to anaemia.

“Under the Pradhanmantri Surakshit Matritav Abhiyan, expectant mothers are being examined on the ninth day of every month to identify high risk pregnancy and also take care of them to reduce MMR,” says Dr Rajinder.


Every expectant mother tracked 

We have achieved  improvement in the mortality rates due to continuous efforts of our field staff and doctors. Health workers tracked every expectant mother and provided care to her and new mothers as well. We are making efforts to bring down both IMR and MMR. — Dr Rajinder Kumar, Deputy Civil Surgeon (NHM)

MMR fluctuates 

Ventilators are required at the neonatal intensive care unit. We have requested the government to fill the post of paediatrician. The MMR was 163 during 2015-16, came down to 118 during 2016-17, but  rose to 147 during 2017-18. During 2018-19, it is at 137. — Dr Piyush Sharma, Principal Medical Officer of Civil Hospital 

Proposal of ventilators sent to govt

We have sufficient radiant warmers and LED phototherapy units. A proposal of ventilators has been sent to the government. — Dr Surinder Kashyap, Director, KCGMCH

Institutional deliveries rise in Karnal

Institutional deliveries rose by 7.6% in Karnal in the last six years — (From 92.49% during 2013-14 to 99.7% during 2018-19). Despite the efforts of the department, 0.3% deliveries were conducted at home. As many as 19,693 deliveries were conducted in the district till December 31, 2018, of which 12,399 (63%) were done at government institutions, 7,238 (36.8%) at private hospitals, while 56 (0.3%) deliveries were conducted at home. During 2013-14, the total number of deliveries was 30,962 — 15,538 (50.2%) at government institutes, 13,099 (42.3%) at private hospitals and 2,325 (7.5%) at home.

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