Pre-term birth, asphyxia, low birth weight and neo-natal sepsis are among the major causes for infant deaths in Pune district, according to data from a child death review scheme.
In April last year, the state health department started a pilot project under the scheme in Pune, making online reporting of infant deaths mandatory. In December last year, a software was introduced to analyse the data.
According to the review conducted from April 2015 till February 2016, a total of 667 infant deaths and still births were registered in Pune district. While there are 121 public health institutions, including 19 rural hospitals, five sub-district hospitals and 96 primary health centres, the data has been provided online by 79 institutions so far.
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A total of 119 still births were reported from public health institutions while another 96 were identified from the community, which means Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) provided information from the households in villages of 13 tehsils in Pune district.
During the same periods, 336 infant deaths were reported, of 186 were at public health institutions while another 179 were reported online from the community.
Out of 667 registered infant deaths reported online, 245 were neonates (that is they died within a month of being born).
While the data is being analysed by experts at the state health department, preliminary findings indicate that pre-term birth (birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy), asphyxia (medical condition arising from lack of oxygen to a newborn) and neonatal sepsis along with low birth weight were among the major reasons for the deaths.
When contacted, Sujata Saunik, state’s principal secretary (health), said a software had been introduced that makes online reporting about deaths from the public health institutions and community easier to analyse. “We can then identify systemic failures occurring at each taluka place and upscale interventions,” she said.
According to Dr H H Chava, deputy director of health (Pune circle), approximately 72,000 deliveries take place annually in Pune district and the child death review scheme software will provide tehsil, age, sex and caste-wise break-up for each of them.
Pune’s district health officer Dr Bhagwan Pawar said these measures were being to taken to ensure that each and every child death was reported and causes are understood. “We have instructed medical officers and tehsil health officers to update the annual data before March 31,”he said.
Memos to be issued if women is severely anaemic To further bring down the maternal mortality and infant mortality rates in Maharashtra, the state health department has introduced a reverse anaemia tracking software.
The tracking immediately starts if a severely anaemic woman, which means with a haemoglobin level less than 7g/100 cc, is identified at the village-level health centres or rural hospitals.
“A memo will be generated directly to the auxillary nursing midwife and other health officers demanding an explanation,” state family welfare bureau officials said.