282 children died in 237 days of this year in the district before celebrating their fifth birthday, reveals a report of child death review committee (CDRC). The deaths occurred due to preventable causes which raise questions on the implementation of the health programmes under child health care.
Among 282 deaths, 151 were females and rest males, which shows that female children are more prone to these preventable diseases. Out of these total deaths, 192 were such who died within 28 days while 61 from 29th day to one year and 29 between the age of 1 to 5.
More shocking figures showed that 134 children lost their lives at the government hospitals, 64 at homes, 66 in private health institutions and 18 in transit.
62 children had died of premature and low birth weight, 56 lost lives due to birth trauma and 28 due to neonatal infections. Pneumonia claimed 15 lives, diarrhoea killed 19 and 130 children died of various diseases including heart problems, septic and others.
Last year (From April 1, 2015, to March 31, 2016), 462 children died below the age of 5.
As per the CDRC, each death is notified and discussed by senior medical officers (SMOs) at their facility level while at district, it is being monitored by district immunisation officer (DIO). Then, the deaths are discussed in district health society (DHS) meeting which is chaired by the deputy commissioner each month.
Seeking anonymity, an official said that if all the health programmes under national health mission, proper nutrition, immunisation, training of ANMs and ASHAs, awareness and total funds are utilised in true manner, the rate can be brought down to zero level.
DIO Tarsem Singh said that child death review is a strategy to understand the variation in causes of deaths and then taking steps in the direction to control the deaths.
He added that autopsy reports provide vast information about the causes of death which helps to identify the gaps in service delivery and social factors that contribute to such deaths.
DIO added that at hospital-levels, the SMOs or medical officers concerned manage the review work while at community levels or in rural areas, auxiliary nurse midwives (ANMs), accredited social health activists (ASHA) give the information to the department about such deaths in their area of the field.
Surinder Saini, a member of DHS alleged that lack of complete implementation and supervision of health programmes, which cater to proper care of women before and after delivery by the department, is primary reason behind the deaths. He said that this shows grim picture of health facilities for children.