Infant mortality, neonatal mortality, malnutrition and child abuse are some of the major issues to be deliberated at the three-day 27th South Zone 32nd Karnataka State Annual Conference of Indian Academy of Paediatrics, commencing here from Friday. The conference ‘South Pedicon-2013’ will focus its discussions on the central theme and issues related to ‘Child survival-meeting the unmet challenge’ to meet the Millennium Development Goal-4.

Highlighting salient features of the conference, which is being hosted jointly by Belgaum district branch of IAP KLE University’s J.N. Medical College, Dept. of Pediatrics and Belgaum Institute of Medical Sciences with IAP branches of Kerala and Tamil Nadu as co-hosts, V.D. Patl, member of the Conference Advisory Board and Registrar of KLEU said here on Wednesday that experts will also deliberate on evolving effective measures to reduce the under-five mortality rate by two-thirds by 2015, besides the issue of malnutrition in children and how to make a child below two years as national symbol of good health.

Dr. Patil, himself a senior paediatrician, said the infant mortality rate was 44 per 1,000 children (aged 0-2 years), while the neonatal mortality was also on higher side in the country, around 25 to 30 per 1,000 in Karnataka. These, along with child abuse and adolescent problems, end up having life-long effects.

According to Rupa Bellad, member of the organising committee, seven international level faculties and 130 experts from different parts of India will speak and deliver lectures on various topics at eleven workshops and 28 scientific and technical sessions. Minister for Medical Education Sharanprakash Patil was invited to inaugurate the conference.

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