Five Neonatal Care Units to be set up in Bihar

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Patna, Nov 14 (UNI) The Bihar government, in collaboration with the UNICEF, has decided to set up five Neonatal Care Units in the five flood hit districts.

The decision was taken to reduce neonatal deaths. The units would be set up in Supaul, Saharsa, Madhepura, Purnia and Araria districts.

Meanwhile, the first training for the Neonatal Stabilisation Unit was held at Patna Medical College Hospital(PMCH) in partnership with UNICEF-National Neonatology Forum, LDS Charity (including faculty staff from the department of Neonatology, University of Utah, USA) and the government of Bihar.

The participants underwent classroom sessions and practical training using mannequins for prastising skills such as early care after delivery and bag and mask ventilation. The other topics covered included provision of warmth, breastfeeding, care of children with jaundice and hands-on training on the use of newborn care equipment.

Meanwhile, a release of the UNICEF said of the 130 million newborn infants born each year globally, about 4 million die in the first 4 weeks. Nearly 99 per cent of the neonatal deaths arise in low and middle income countries and over half occur at home, where the bulk of deliveries take place.

Reducing neonatal mortality is critical for reaching the millennium development goal 4(MDG 4) target of two thirds reduction in deaths among children aged under five.It would require strategies to reduce the bulk of newborn deaths in the first week of life.

The important causes of newborn(0-1 month) babies include neonatal sepsis, birth asphyxia, prematurity and low birth weight.

Approximately 70 per cent of these deaths can be averted through simple interventions.

The government of Bihar has planned a three tier strategy consisting of trained workers at the village level, a Neonatal Stabilisation Unit at the Block level and a newborn care unit at the district level.The Integrated Managaement of Neonatal and childhood Illness (IMNCI) worker is trained for early detection of newborn illness and appropriate action through home visits to every newborn household.

Addressing the training programme Dr Richard Bell a neonatologist from the University of California said the initiative would go a long way in saving newborn lives in the state.

UNI RS PL SS1202

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