Noting that parameters of child health in southern states are higher than those in north and central India, health experts on Sunday said children in the state are dying not of hunger but due to diseases.
The health experts were speaking at the concluding day of the 47th state-wide paediatrics meet (PEDICON) in the city.
Dr KK Arora said in every 1,000 children living in the state, 54 die due to lack of proper nutrition.
“The situation in the state is very critical. Even small states like Sikkim have a better Infant Mortality Rate (IMR). It records 11 deaths in every 1,000 children. Children in Madhya Pradesh are dying not of hunger but due to diseases, which are a result of lack of proper nutrition. Diseases affect their immunity,” said Dr Arora.
He said with the help of the government, an NICU (neo-natal intensive care unit) should be set up in every village of the state. Apart from this, practice of institutional deliveries should also be strengthened as it helps in registering the birth and building a relationship between the doctor and the mother.
“The situation in backward areas of the state needs to be improved especially when we talk about nutrition. Studies have shown that in absence of proper nutrition, there are 54% chances of the child not having proper mental growth and development,” he said.
Senior paediatrician Nitin K Shah of Hinduja Hospital talked about multiple areas that the state government should take special care.
He talked about how overall pediatrics can improve the deplorable situation in the areas of IMR and Maternal Mortality Rate.
“Around 40% of children suffering from simple diseases like pneumonia don’t reach the OPD on time. Death occurs or their condition deteriorates because the family is busy trying out home remedies. A visit to the hospital is a must,” he said.
During the conference, suggestions were also given to build a support system by bringing together private and government hospitals on a common platform.
An expert said if some facilities were missing in government hospitals like PICU (paediatric intensive care unit) then private hospitals should come forward and bridge this gap and the government should support private hospitals in this move.