22% of infant deaths in Maha were preterm births: RTI
The data also revealed that 0.32% children period died of diarrhoeaUpdated: May 10, 2018 00:08 IST
Complications related to preterm births was the prominent cause of child mortality (0 to 5 years) in Maharashtra between April 2017 and February 2018, revealed data accessed using Right to Information (RTI) Act .
Out of 13,541 children who died during this period, 22% were born premature, 7% contracted pneumonia, 12% died of asphyxia, 10% had congenital malformations and 7% contracted other various infections, revealed the reply to an RTI query filed by Chetan Kothari.
“One of the major causes of deaths among preterm children is hypothermia, which is taken care of with radiant warmers at special newborn care units,” said Dr Archana Patil, additional director, Family Welfare Bureau.
The state is in the process of adding 230 new beds in the 36 special newborn care units to ensure that all most preterm children get medical help, she added.
The data also revealed that 0.32% children period died of diarrhoea. Officials from state health department said most of these deaths were in tribal areas as children don’t reach the health facilities early. “Children who develop diarrhoea die of dehydration, which is preventable,” an official said.
Most children had died within a month of delivery. A total of 65% died in the first month, 21% died between one month and a year and 14% died between the age of one and five, the RTI revealed.
“Universally, children are at the highest risk of infection in the first seven days. It is a critical period especially for children who are born prematurely and have a birth weight less than 2.5 kilograms,” Dr Patil added. Officials from the state health department investigated 11,532 of the total deaths.
According to the data maintained on the NITI Aayog website, the infant mortality rate in Maharashtra in 2016 was 19 per 1000 live births. The highest infant mortality rate, 47 per 1000 live births was recorded in Madhya Pradesh.