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Govt scaling up newborn care units for better services

PTI | Last Updated: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 - 18:29

New Delhi: Newborn care units across the country are being scaled up under the National Rural Health Mission in association with UNICEF to address monitoring gaps in the quality of service at these facilities, an official said Tuesday.

UNICEF has provided technical assistance to Madhya Pradesh government in the latter's bid to reduce the newborn mortality rate and the said arrangement was lauded at the national level, said Karin Hulshof, UNICEF Regional Director (South Asia) at an interaction here.

Now, the same model is being implemented across the country with scaled up operations achieved in five states ? Rajasthan, Assam, Maharashtra, Haryana and Andhra Pradesh ? Hulshof added.

Madhya Pradesh government and UNICEF have developed a real -time, special newborn care unit (SNCU) online data management and follow-up tracking system which monitors the quality of care at these facilities and tracks newborns till they are a year old, she said.

Madhya Pradesh has the highest infant mortality rate in the country and the state government has joined hands with UNICEF to initiate steps for improving health indices.

The number of maternity centres in Madhya Pradesh is being increased from 900 to 1,597 and special newborn care units are being run at 44 district hospitals in the state.

"We are using new technology which would also involve application of new ideas that are piloted through smaller versions before they are scaled up exponentially," she said.

Hulshof also spoke about a school-led sanitation campaign in Nepal for which the Nepalese government has set 2017 as the target for making the country "open defecation free".

First Published: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 - 18:29

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