Maximum number of deaths among children continue to take place immediately after their birth, indicating the need for strengthening neonatal care programme in Maharashtra. Data gathered through Right to Information (RTI) from the public health department had showed that 13,541 pediatric deaths have been recorded between April 2017 and February 2018.
Of these, 65 per cent deaths occurred in cases of new borns aged less than 28 days. The RTI query, filed by activist Chetan Kothari, shows analysis of 11,532 deaths that occurred in the last one year. Of these, 54 per cent deaths were recorded among boys and 46 per cent among girls. While 65 per cent deaths happened in the first 28 days after birth due to prematurity and low weight, 21 per cent deaths happened among children aged less than one and 14 per cent were recorded in children beyond one year.
Data analysed by Maharashtra government shows in 22 per cent cases, the deceased children suffered from low birth weight and were premature deliveries. In 12 per cent deaths, birth trauma led to death followed by congenital malformation, that was recorded in 10 per cent deaths. Pneumonia continues to lead to fatality with seven per cent deaths caused by it, followed by diarrhoea with 0.32 per cent deaths.
“The infant and neonatal mortality is steadily declining in state. We have been installing more sick newborn care units in rural hospitals to provide intensive support,” said Dr Satish Pawar, joint director to National Health mission and former director of Directorate of Health Services.