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Infant mortality, child survival discussed

INDIAN ASSOCIATION of Paediatrics (IAP) can work in collaboration with the government to reduce infant mortality rate by encouraging private paediatricians to take up clusters of urban poor population. This project could involve NGOs and community based health workers also.

india Updated: Feb 20, 2006 14:31 IST

INDIAN ASSOCIATION of Paediatrics (IAP) can work in collaboration with the government to reduce infant mortality rate by encouraging private paediatricians to take up clusters of urban poor population. This project could involve NGOs and community based health workers also.

The estimated cost of project implementation would be Rs 6-8 per person every month. Urban Health Resources Centre (UHRC) country representative Dr Siddharth Agarwal proposed this scheme at a workshop on ‘Child survival related issues’ organised by Indian Academy of Paediatrics Indore branch in Hotel Shreemaya Residency Indore today.

Speaking on the topic ‘Child survival among the urban poor’, Dr Agarwal informed that about 2.6 million children are born in urban poor families across India every year. The immunisation and survival rate of these children is only 50-52 per cent. The condition of Madhya Pradesh is even below the average national data.

According to Dr Agarwal, plans must be implemented in public-private partnership to face this challenge. Doctors must visit urban slums on a weekly basis. Many cases of similar child disease from one slum area must be reported to the government so that the outbreak of a particular disease could be prevented, he said. In addition, the poor people who do not have access to big hospitals must be referred to tier II hospitals on time.

Divisional Commissioner Ashok Das was the chief guest of the inaugural function. Dr Vinod Paul (WHO Consultant) from AIIMS, New Delhi and IAP (2007) president Dr Naveen Thacker were the special guests of the occasion.

The programme began with lighting of lamp. IAP local branch president Dr S K Awadhiya and secretary Dr Pankaj Bhandari welcomed the guests.

IAP (2006) president Dr Nitin Shah was the first speaker in the second session. He spoke about the burden of morbidity and morality in children of India. Dr Shah mentioned that the doctors and government must ensure that infant illness rate is reduced, as this is the biggest cause of mortality.

Dr Paul addressed the workshop on ‘Improving neonatal and child survival’. Dr Paul insisted on making child survivals a social movement. He said adopting special approach for childcare could increase that child survival rate. Good technology and effective drugs and vaccines are also required for this purpose, he said. Dr Paul suggested proper training for community based health workers.

Dr Thacker took up the subject ‘Upscaling coverage of Expanded Programme of Immunisation (EPI) Vaccines’. He informed that Madhya Pradesh is a partially immunised state.

Dr Paul then conducted a session on ‘Integrated management of neonatal and childhood illnesses’. Paediatricians from various states attended the workshop and discussed practical methods of raising the child survival rate.

The doctors were also directed on issues like prescription format for different purposes, training for rural health workers and communication with patients etc. in the workshop. Dr Gagan Gupta coordinated the event.

First Published: Feb 20, 2006 14:31 IST