According to the National Health Mission (NHM), Madhya Pradesh has recorded the highest percentage of newborn deaths of 11.5% against the total admissions to government-run sick newborn care units (SNCUs) in the past three years across the country. The country’s average is 7%
- Although admissions of neonates (under 28 days) in the Madhya Pradesh have dropped from April 2017 to December 2019 — remaining lower than West Bengal, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh — the percentage of deaths at 12.2% surpassed Bihar’s last year.
- In Bhopal, the capital city of Madhya Pradesh, one in every five children admitted to a unit died in the three years — the highest death percentage of 19.9% in the State, ten times above the NHM’s mandated key performance indicator of below 2%.
- Staff crunch, low community referrals, absence of a special neonatal transport service to health centres, and the non-availability of enough units to cater to increasing institutional deliveries had contributed to the spike in the percentage of deaths.
- Meanwhile, West Bengal, where 34,344 neonatal deaths occurred in the period, the most in the country, the declining percentage of deaths from 9.2% in 2017 to 8.9% in 2019 coincided with a slump in admissions.
Source : The Hindu