As many as 433 newborns died in 16 ‘Special Neighbourhood Care Units’ (SNCUs) in Delhi due to various diseases in the first six months of 2017, an RTI query has revealed.
Most of the deaths were due to infection in the blood, pneumonia and meningitis, the state health department said in a reply to the RTI query.
In the 16 SNCUs of the Delhi government, 8,329 newborns were admitted between January 2017 and June 2017. Out of which, 5,068 are newborn boys and 3,787 are newborn girls.
Replying to the RTI query filed by activist Yusuf Naki, the health department said 116 newborns died due to pneumonia and meningitis, 109 infants died due to respiratory diseases, 105 newborns died due to lack of oxygen, 55 died because of meconium aspiration syndrome, 86 infants died due to premature births, 36 newborns died due to birth defects and 22 infants died because of other causes.
Besides, the reason behind the death of two newborns is still not known.
Dr K K Agrawal, former president of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), told PTI that if the child has an infection in the blood and it goes into the lungs, it causes pneumonia, and when this infection goes into the outer walls of the brain, it leads to meningitis.
He said if a child is born with a heart, kidney or brain disease and he or she is not treated immediately, then the child might die.
In 2016, the infant mortality rate (IMR) was 18 per 1,000 live births in Delhi, better than the national average of 34, the health department said.
In Goa, the IMR was eight per 1,000 live births in 2016. There were 10 deaths in per 1,000 births in Kerala. The IMR in Madhya Pradesh came down to 47 per 1,000 births in 2016, it said.