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The state public health department has introduced a slew of measures including special newborn care units, child treatment centre and nutrition rehabilitation centre to reduce infant mortality rate. It has earmarked Rs 10–12 crore for this objective. From 42 per 1,000 live births in 2003, the IMR in the state has come down to 25 per 1,000 live births (as per Sample Registration Survey 2011).

The 12th Five Year Plan aims to further reduce the IMR to 15 per 1,000 live births. The health authorities have now introduced various schemes under the reproductive and child health programme to reduce infant deaths due to disease and malnutrition.

Till July, 13,009 neonates were admitted at the special newborn care units set up at 23 civil hospitals, eight women's hospitals and sub district hospitals in the state, said Dr V D Khanande, joint director of Health.

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According to Dr S G Kulkarni, assistant director of health, the state has sanctioned Rs 8 crore for village child development centres where Rs 1,000 is allocated for severely and moderately malnourished children. The children are admitted to the village child development centre for 30 days and nutritious diet is provided by the anganwadi workers.

Data collected till July shows that 28,630 severely and moderately malnourished children were admitted to 9,754 village child development centres. So far the health of 6,860 children who were admitted has improved. The centre functions like a day–care centre where a specific diet is provided. The mother who accompanies the child is also given a fixed amount per day as lost wages.

At the child treatment centre, set up to treat medical complications of severely and moderately malnourished children, Rs 5,250 is allocated for each child for 21 days.

The centres are set up at primary health centre, rural and district hospitals and till July end 546 severely and moderately malnourished children were admitted. Of this, the health of 296 children have improved, Kulkarni said.

Indian Express
24 Sep 2013

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