Tuesday, July 29, 2014


‘With coordinated efforts, Sikkim can become zero-Infant mortality State’ -ANAND OBEROI
GANGTOK, 28 July: 11 percent of all newborns who die in the country before reaching five years of age are lost to diarrhea-related complications every year. Sikkim, however, has recorded an infant mortality rate of 24 against 1,000 children for the year 2012-13, lower than most states. Assam has the highest infant mortality rate at 55 deaths per 1000 children every year.
The Health Care & Human Services and Family Welfare Department launched the Intensified Diarrhea Control Fortnight through the newly elected Health Minister, AK Ghatani here at the European Commission Hall at Sir Tashi Namgyal Memorial Hospital this afternoon. The aim is to mobilise communities, health personnel and political leaders towards prevention of diarrhea and making all aware of the low-cost treatment options.
Also present for the launch were the Mission Director, National Health Mission, Dr. PM Pradhan, Medical Superintendent, STNM Hospital, Dr. Yogesh Verma, and Joint Director cum Nodal Officer (Child Health), P. Denzongpa. Others present were, ASHA workers, doctors and nurses of the pediatric ward and nursing staff of STNM Hospital.
It was informed today that in Sikkim, vector borne diseases kill around 11 newborns while, 16 children die of low birth weight related problems every year, however, this rate is still the lowest in the country.
“In Sikkim, all cases of infant mortality are preventable if we choose to be one and work in a coordinated manner. These are areas that we need to cover and we will in the first week deal with all neonatal problems. We are still fortunate to have comparatively low IMR because of the awareness level in Sikkim. 54 newborns under the age of five years and 27 children post five years have died in the state as per the statistics of 2012-2013,” informed Dr. PM Pradhan.
Expressing concern over the sharp rise in diarrhea cases, he informed that within the last three months, 2,651 cases of diarrhea were reported in the state while 8,549 diarrhea cases were registered in the state in 2013.
He added that in the first week of the two-week long programme, stress would be laid on house to house visits and distribution of ORS and Zinc Tablets. Further, the first week as per the Mission Director would stress on assessing, further maintaining the existing Mother and Child Cards in the state. The first week will also concentrate on maintenance of sanitary and hygiene standards amongst the local population.
In the second week, focus will be on intensive awareness creation among the masses followed by liaison and coordination between the various concerned departments at the district level to effectively implement the same throughout the state.
“With the health department working to fulfill all the given programmes and projects within the prescribed time, we hope that the committee headed by the Mission Director, would effectively implement the fortnight long programme  throughout the state for the good of the state,” stated Minister, AK Ghatani.

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