Infant mortality rate falls again in Tamil Nadu

Special Correspondent

From 41 per 1,000 births in 2004 to 37 in 2005

CHENNAI: The infant mortality rate in Tamil Nadu has once again fallen, from 41 per 1,000 live births in 2004 to 37 in 2005, Health Secretary V.K. Subburaj said on Wednesday.

At the inaugural function of the newborn week celebrations at the Institute of Child Health, he said the situation was encouraging, as the rate had been falling constantly over the past few years, largely owing to the popularity of institutional deliveries versus deliveries at home.

The Government had introduced comprehensive emergency obstetric and newborn care centres to improve the quality of care and access to it for mothers and babies.

Health Minister K.K.S.S.R. Ramachandran urged the medical sector to make deliveries as comfortable as possible for women. The `pay ward' concept in the government general hospital had turned out to be a great success, and the Government was planning to implement it in other hospitals too.

Information Minister Parithi Ilamvazhuthi participated in the function.

Awareness campaigns, seminars, CME programmes and training sessions for medical and paramedical personnel will be organised as part of the celebrations. The theme this year is "comprehensive new born care," said

Meer Mustafa Hussain, head, department of Neonatology, Institute of Child Health, Egmore.

The components include generation of demand for care of the newborn in the community itself, strengthening infrastructure to provide care for neonates and developing regional facilities for neuro-development evaluation and follow-up.

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