The Department of Health and Family Welfare has withdrawn its round-the-clock maternity and neonatal care services at 12 primary health centres (PHCs) in Dakshina Kannada with effect from November 1, according to O. Srirangappa, District Health and Family Welfare Officer.

He said this at a meeting of the Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat here on Thursday.

The 24X7 services had been withdrawn owing to lack of response. These primary health centres would continue to provide other medical services and maternity and neonatal services during other normal working hours, he said.

Dr. Srirangappa said that the maternity and neonatal care services had been provided under the National Rural Health Mission (NHRM) to bring down infant and maternity mortality rates. According to norms, such PHCs should record at least five deliveries a month. The PHCs at Kuppepadavu, Katipalla, Eshwarmangala, Panaje, Guthigar, Kollamogaru, Subrahmanya, Kurnad, Kaniyoor, Neriya, Venoor and Panja did not record the minimum number of deliveries specified for a month.

“Infant and maternity mortality rates are delicate index of the health of a society,'' he said.

He said that 28 nurses had been appointed to these PHCs. Of them, four nurses were permanent employees and the remaining were on contract. All of them had been relocated in other medical establishments.

Round-the-clock services were being offered in the PHCs at Surathkal, Ullal, Shirthady, Bellare, Ujire, Kokkada, Naravi, Koila, Panaje, Kadaba and Mani.

Chief Executive Officer P. Shivashankar said that payment for works that were not listed under the action plan of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) for 2009-10 could not be done during this financial year. Such works should have been listed on its website. The website was locked for listing by the Government only after April 15. Even after March 2010, the website was open for listing till April 15 before it was locked.

A few members of the panchayat demanded that the meeting pass a resolution for an inquiry by the Lokayutka into the alleged irregularities in the implementation of works under the Rajiv Gandhi Drinking Water Mission. To this, Mr. Shivashankar said that there was no problem in passing such a resolution. As the resolution had to be forwarded to the Lokayutka according to procedures, there would be delay in the inquiry. Instead, the members could file complaints to the Lokayukta individually.

President of the panchayat K. Santhosh Kumar Bhandary presided over the meeting.

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