Work on the centre is planned to be completed by March 31 The cost of the project is Rs. 5.25 crore and it is funded by Infosys Foundation
MANGALORE: The Regional Advanced Paediatric Care Centre (RAPCC), which is coming up at the government Wenlock Hospital here, will be the first of its kind in South India.
Work on the centre is planned to be completed by March 31, and it is expected to be a main referral centre for neonatal and paediatric care in 10 districts of Karnataka and Kerala.
Thanks to the efforts of paediatric specialist Shantaram Baliga and Infosys Foundation, the RAPCC will have the state-of-the-art facility. The cost of the project is Rs. 5.25 crore and it is totally funded by Infosys Foundation.
Dakshina Kannada district has made good progress in controlling child mortality, pre-natal mortality and neonatal mortality rates, which is below the national and State average.
Stating that this was responsible for Mangalore getting the facility, Dr. Baliga said Dakshina Kannada recorded the lowest pre-natal mortality rate at 12.68 for every 1,000 pregnancies as against the national figure of 42 and the State figure of 48.
The infant mortality rate in Dakshina Kannada was 9.24 per 1,000 births while the national figure was 66 and the State figure was 54.
The mortality rate in children under the age of five in Dakshina Kannada was 13.29, while the national and State figures were 91 and 79 respectively for every 1,000 children.
All these figures pertained to 2005.
Dr. Baliga stated that the figures were not rosy before 1998. In that year, the neonatal intensive care unit was started at Lady Goshen Hospital in a modest way with help from the community and philanthropists. The task was daunting.
The opening of the RAPCC will shift the focus on several others such as nutrition, general health of children belonging to lower income groups, speciality departments etc.
The centre will also start and sustain special care units at various district hospitals.
However, specialised equipment and funding were needed for the facility, says Dr. Baliga.