To provide state-of-the-art care to ailing newborns, the Chennai Corporation is setting up 16 newborn stabilisation units at its hospitals across the city.

Mayor Saidai Duraisamy on Tuesday inaugurated the first unit at the 24-hour emergency obstetric care centre in Vadapalani. The 16 facilities are being commissioned at a cost of Rs.2.4 crore.

Every year, some of the infants among the 18,000 born in Chennai Corporation hospitals, die because of breathing problems, because they are underweight or due to congenital abnormalities. The newborn stabilisation units, with facilities including a pulse oximeter, warmer and phototherapy are expected to reduce infant mortality in many impoverished neighbourhoods.

Neonatal care in the city has already improved this year with the development of full-fledged specialised newborn care units in government hospitals such as Government Raja Sir Ramaswamy Mudaliar Lying-in Hospital, the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Government Kasturba Gandhi Hospital for Women and Children.

But as of now, most infants born to parents who live in slums are taken to the Institute of Child Health, Government Stanley Hospital and Government Kilpauk Hospital for specialised neonatal care.

These 16 units are aimed at providing this care at Corporation hospitals, a press release said.

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