Special Correspondent

Urges health authorities to address the issue immediately

  • IMR increased to 28 per 1000 children born in 2007
  • Prevalence of anaemia among women, adolescent girls

    Puducherry: Chief Minister N. Rangasamy has expressed concern over the rise in infant mortality rate (IMR) in the Union Territory and wanted the health authorities to accord priority to tackle the situation without loss of time.

    Addressing a meeting of doctors and health staff on World Health Day at the Government General Hospital here on Saturday, Mr. Rangasamy said that the high incidence of anaemia and poor nutritional status of women had been impacting health of the babies.

    IMR in the Union Territory is 28 per 1,000 children born in 2007 against 24 per 1,000 seen a few years ago. The State Health Mission had identified the prevalence of anaemic condition among women and adolescent girls. Although the administration had been spending more funds on healthcare, the increase in the IMR was a matter of serious concern.

    Diabetes was another area where the health authorities should pay attention although it was for the individuals to take preventive care. Mr. Rangasamy also said that addiction to alcoholism by the middle-age groups affecting their health. He said he came across families which were put to untold suffering with their breadwinners falling victims to drinking. The Chief Minister said that the administration was keen on creating a clean environment to give a facelift to the urban and semi-urban areas. It was spending Rs.6 crore for garbage removal scheme, which would be extended to rural areas.

    He said that his Government would ensure that concrete houses replaced huts and Rs.1 lakh would be given under Perunthalaivar Kamarajar Housing Scheme to help hut-dwellers to build proper houses. The Government would provide additional Rs.10,000 to construct toilets.

    The Chief Minister distributed prizes to students and staff of Mother Theresa Institute of Health Sciences who won the competitions held as part of the World Health Day.

    Mission Director of the National Rural Health Mission D. Thamma Rao said that the authorities were shocked to see large-scale incidence of anaemia among adolescent girls, and of 45,000 girls examined, it was found that 31 per cent of them had anaemia. With mothers ignorant on the importance of breast-feeding, health of babies was at stake. Director of Health and Family Welfare Services Dilip Kumar Baliga said that the theme of the current year's celebration was "Invest in Health, Build a Safer Future".

    He said ignorance was a major factor resulting in poor health status of the individuals. Discipline in adopting a good dietary habit was essential.

    Treasurer of the Indian Red Cross Society (Puducherry) N. Govindasamy also spoke. P.K. Das, Director of Vector Control Research Centre was also present.