At the time when CM Yogi Adityanath is doing good job for Uttar Pradesh, Congress is busy making a hero out of murder of Gorakhpur children by the negligence of a doctor. If one tries to see beyond the matter of the Gorakhpur medical hospital case, it seems the last one year has been good for newborn babies in Uttar Pradesh. Data according to the health department shows remarkable improvement in the performance of neonatal units in 2017-18 compared to the previous years.
The special care newborn units (SCNUs) usually operate as part of a district level hospital. They are meant to save sick babies upto 28 days, either born within the hospital, nursing homes or at homes. They are crucial because studies have found that the daily risk of mortality in the first month of life is 30 times higher than in the second month. In fact, two-thirds of all baby deaths happen during the first four weeks.
Data reveals significant improvement in Uttar Pradesh’s neonatal units last year. Close to 25,000 more babies with medical complications went home healthy in 2017-18 than two years ago. Small steps, BIG results.
Data reveals significant improvement in Uttar Pradesh’s neonatal units last year. Close to 25,000 more babies with medical complications went home healthy in 2017-18 than two years ago. Small steps, BIG results. #Yogi4Development https://t.co/h6kAo6PD0Y
— Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) June 22, 2018
When spoken to Dr Anil Verma, who is posted in Lucknow as general manager, child health, for Central government’s National Health Mission (NHM), looked satisfied as he shared the figures. “A significant improvement,” he said. This is certainly encouraging for a state where the burden of neonatal deaths is notoriously high.
Verma says “This has been made possible by filling vacant posts and hiring necessary staff. We were struggling with manpower. This year, we filled some 300 vacant posts, mostly nurses, that turned the SCNUs around. ”The state currently has 78 such units, out of which 10 are located in tertiary medical institutes – like Gorakhpur’s BRD medical hospital – while the rest are spread across 63 districts. UP has 75 districts; experts say that two-three functional units in a district are a good number.
“Six more units are coming up while as many are currently being upgraded. The biggest Challenge was the availability of specialists. But we didn’t wait for them, instead appointed regular paediatricians. We have paid as high as Rs 2.5 lakh a month for remote locations. But this had to be done”, he said.
Dr Verma informed that about 60% of the financial burden for the neonatal programme is borne by the Centre while the rest by the state government. The execution, however, is almost entirely the state’s efforts.
“The most common reasons why babies die is because they are severely underweight, asphyxiated or suffering from life-threatening infections”, he said.
Of course which is under the Chief Minister Yogi, who is into sincere efforts to get better days for the state. The joint efforts of the centre and the state Government have resulted these good days now. For a unit to operate efficiently, it needs to be equipped with sophisticated machines and life-saving instruments. These include incubators, oxygenators, multi-parameter monitoring systems, electronic weighing scales, intravenous drip systems and body warmers that play a crucial role in the baby’s battle for survival. “I have got whatever I asked for. I can say I have all the equipment I needed,” he added.
A senior official with state’s health ministry said that “If the trend continues, Uttar Pradesh can hope to drop the dubious tag of being one of the poorest performers in this area in the coming years”. Shouldn’t we thank the joint efforts of the Centre and the state joint efforts for this Acche Din??