90,000 Bihar kids die in first month of birth

Patna: About 90,000 children die in Bihar every year within the first month of their birth, state principal health secretary C.K. Mishra said here Sunday.

"Every year in Bihar, about 90,000 children die within the first month of life, that is, about 250 neonates dying every day. Most of these deaths can be prevented," he said at the annual national neonatal forum convention and national workshop on newborn health.

Most of the causes of neonatal deaths can be prevented and managed by a set of interventions at household, community and health facility levels, he said.

According to him, the Comprehensive Newborn Care Initiative (CNCI) developed by the Bihar government with technical support from Unicef and the National Neonatology Forum will be scaled up in all 38 districts across the state over the next three years.

"CNCI will provide for newborn care at every level and has the potential to save up to 6,000 newborn lives every single year," Mishra said.

Unicef health experts lauded the government for achieving great success in improving immunisation and institutional deliveries, but urged the state to focus on the neonatal period for further reduction in the infant mortality rate.

In Bihar, 2010 is being celeberated as the Year of the Newborn.