Spate of infant deaths figures in Assembly

Nagpur: The increasing cases of infant deaths in State figured in the Legislative Assembly on the fourth day of Winter Session. Senor NCP leaders Ajit Pawar, Dilip walse Patil, Shashikant Shinde and Congress member Vijay Wadettiwar raised the issue through a Call Attention Motion. They sought to know the measures being taken by the government to reduce the mortality deaths.

In reply, the Public Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Deepak Sawant informed the House that it is the responsibility of many departments to control infant deaths. On government part, the process to fill up vacant posts of nurses is going on. The rate of infant deaths is determined by the cases reported by government and private hospitals. In the districts of Amravati and Nashik where the infant mortality cases are maximum, Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) are being set up on priority.

He further informed the House that for better care of new born babies, New Born Care Corner, New Born Stabilisation Unit and Special New Born Care Unit have been set up in government hospitals across the State. In all, 36 SNCUs are working. The warmer capacity of these SNCUs is 20 but it has been increased to 36. In the month of August 2017, out of 345 deaths of new born babies, 55 died due to various reasons.

The Health Minister said that 36 posts of Lady Health Visitors have been sanctioned for entire state. Of them, 21 posts have already been filled up. Similarly, posts in Group-A have been sanctioned and 5921 posts have been filled up. Out of 24883 posts of nurses, 21847 have been filled up. Currently, 12% posts are vacant.

In reply to another question related to his ministry, Dr Sawant said that a total 328 licensee and registered blood banks are functional in state. All these blood banks collected 15.70 lakh units of blood in the year 2016. Since the blood in A, B, and AB negative collected in scarce proportion, it is collected through donors as and when needed. A scheme to encourage donors of 25 times or more is in the pipeline.

He further said that his ministry is seriously contemplating to act against those hospitals that issue inflated bills for any surgeries. The Central Government has already directed the states to implement Clinical Establishment Act to curb this practice. The issue is pending with Planning Commission.

The State Government has sanctioned Jeevan Amrut Seva Yojana in all the districts of the state. Further, from 33 blood banks, blood is supplied by motorcycles within 40 km limit. Under this scheme, 1265 hospitals have been registered in the state. 39158 units of blood has been supplied to these hospitals.