Health and Family Welfare Minister Pratap Jena on Friday announced that 2018-19 will be observed as Newborn Care Year to spread awareness on neonatal care. Inaugurating the Newborn Care Week Jena said, “We have taken various initiatives to check infant and maternal deaths. As a result, the infant mortality rate has reduced from 65 to 40 in the last 10 years. Institutional delivery is now more than 85 pc and needs to be improved,” he said. Stating that 37 Special Newborn Care Units (SNCU) are functioning in 30 districts, Jena said 46,000 newborn kids have been provided treatment in these units last year.
“Several activities will be conducted throughout the year to make people aware on various methods of newborn care. Asha and anganwadi workers, ANMs, teachers, panchayat samiti members and NGO workers involved in health programs will be trained and they will campaign from door-to-door,” he added. Health Secretary Dr Pramod Meherda urged doctors and paramedic staff to continue good work for further improvement in health indicators. Best performing districts including Nayagarh, Rayagada, Deogarh, Sundargarh, Sonepur and Boudh were awarded. The Health Minister also released IEC materials and leaflets on newborn care. Training of trainers on facility-based care of pre-term and low birth weight infants was launched. – New Indian Express