Despite high mortality rate of girls in Madhya Pradesh, the ratio of females reaching Sick Newborn Care Units is less than males, said experts at the concluding day of 36th annual convention on neonatal care, NEACON, on Sunday.
Dr MP Jain, health expert from Delhi, said this is an unfortunate continuous cycle. “Girls get married in a younger age, which leads to lack of proper education and physical development. Due to this, they give birth to weak and malnourished children. These girls don’t even receive proper postnatal care and this cycle then continues. It will take years to rectify this unfortunate cycle,” he said.
UNICEF and National Neonatalology Forum of India have also declared 2017 as the year of female newborn to bring emphasis on the discrimination towards the girl child in terms of neonatal care.
Meanwhile, Dr Vivek Jain, head of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Fortis Hospital, Delhi, said that the condition of infant medical treatment has improved a lot in the past five years. In comparison with the facilities available in developed countries, he said that India has now provisions to treat a newborn weighing up to 500 grams and even premature babies born in five months.
“There are expert specialists in the country, but the rural areas lack equipment and techniques. The benefit of government schemes does not often reach the people. In addition, there are no facilities like mediclaim for even a three-month old infants, when the cost of their treatment could go up to Rs 5 lakh. The lack of finance is also a major reason for infant mortality,” Dr Jain said.
Keeping away traditional medicines
Dr Jain also pointed out that even the smallest of problems faced by the children should be taken seriously. Jaundice in children is not as serious as compared to the adults. This gives anti-oxidants to them and they get back to normalcy if given proper treatment. Along with mother’s milk, people give traditional medicines to the child, which should be completely avoided, he said.
Training sessions in villages
Dr VP Goswami, secretary of the convention, said that 2017 is dedicated to ‘Save a child’. Under this, Anganwadi workers will give training in rural areas. In addition, expert doctors will develop a chain to ensure this. Dr Amit Bang, media coordinator, said that there are 300 infant experts in the country in coordination with whom awareness programmes will be organised in slum areas of the country.