Health and Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar on Wednesday launched ‘Social Awareness and Action to Neutralise Pneumonia Successfully’ (SAANS), a campaign to ensure greater awareness and early detection of pneumonia in children under five. Pneumonia is a lung infection caused by bacterial, viral or fungal infection.
Speaking at the launch, the Minister said the under-five mortality of Karnataka is at 28/1000 live births as per SRS 2018. “The goal is to reduce under-five mortality to 23/1,000 live births by 2025. In order to achieve the National Health Policy goals, pneumonia mortality needs to be reduced to less than 3 per 1,000 live births,” he said.
Basavaraj Dabadi, State Deputy Director (Child Health), said childhood pneumonia continues to pose a significant health threat to the children under-five years of age across the country contributing to 15% of under-five deaths. “These are preventable deaths if we strengthen our systems to detect and treat pneumonia cases early,” he said.
“In the wake of this, the State has taken up community awareness generation on pneumonia through extensive digital and mass media campaigns. ASHAs have been roped in for this. Apart from strengthening facility-level management for cases of severe-pneumonia, setting-up skill stations and skill based training of healthcare providers is also going on. All healthcare providers have been asked to take up active screening of under five children for early identification and management of pneumonia,” he said.
The Minister, who also inaugurated the upgraded Paediatric ICU (PICU) at K.C. General hospital, said an exclusive 100-bed maternity facility similar to Vani Vilas Maternity Hospital will be set up on the premises of K.C. General Hospital. The existing 10-bed PICU at K.C. General has been upgraded with assistance from two donor organisations.
Pointing out that the State budget had proposed to set up four 500-bed super-speciality hospitals in four zones of Bengaluru, the Minister said the hospitals will be set up on a PPP model and land for the same is being identified.
Earlier, the Minister called upon people to continue wearing masks and following COVID appropriate behaviour. Pointing out that COVID cases were on the rise in some states including Delhi, he said the State was adopting a cautious approach.
Appealing to people to take the precaution dose of COVID vaccine, he said nearly 30 lakh people were yet to take the second dose. “People have to come forward and get vaccinated. We were able to control the third wave efficiently as most of the population was vaccinated. We have still not hit the fourth wave but people should continue to take precautions,” he added.