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Madhya Pradesh gets national award for newborn care arrangements

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By Pervez Bari

Bhopal: Newborn care arrangements made by Madhya Pradesh government have been appreciated at the national level. Madhya Pradesh has been conferred first prize for setting up maximum number of special newborn care units, (SNCU), in the country recently at a national convention held by NHRM and Union Health & Family Welfare Ministry at Srinagar.

Madhya Pradesh has been given the opportunity to cooperate with Haryana, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Uttaranchal to set up special newborn care units and their data management system over there, an official release said.

In recent years, Madhya Pradesh has initiated a number of measures for improving health indices. Number of maternity centres in the state is being increased from 900 to 1597. Special newborn care units are being run in 44 district hospitals in the state with technical cooperation of UNICEF for reducing newborn mortality rate. These units will be set up in remaining districts also from August 2013. After setting up of these units, Madhya Pradesh will be the first state in the country with SNCUs in all its districts. These units have been saving lives of 1000 newborns every year. Besides, over 1.50 lakh newborns have been treated also. Over 70,000 newborns are expected to be treated at these units during year 2013.

It is result of efforts made in the state for saving newborns that infant mortality rate has declined by 12.7 per cent in Madhya Pradesh, which is much higher than national average of 8.8 percent. Newborn mortality rate was static at 51 per thousand for five years from 2002 to 2006. It has been brought down to 41 per thousand during the five year period of 2007-11. Apart from newborn mortality rate, steep decline of 10 per cent has also been registered. It has come down to 277 in year 2011-12 from 310 in year 2010-11.

Even though, remarkable decline has been registered in newborn and infant mortality rates in the state, but it has to be brought down further by 9.5 per cent per annum during Five-Year Plan. For achieving this, the State Government has implemented “Sampoorn Swasthya Sabke Liye” scheme in all health centres and hospitals in the state to ensure quality health services. Village dispensaries, health centres and transport facility are being run 24X7. The department is committed to achieve targets through effective implementation of Mamta and Astha Abhiyan schemes also.

[Pervez Bari is a senior Journalist based at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. He is associated with as Bureau Chief (Madhya Pradesh). He can be contacted at]
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