Pankaja admits to 995 infant deaths in 5 months

  • | Tuesday | 10th July, 2018

She said, in the year 2017, the total infant deaths recorded in the 16 states was 2,161. The minister, however, said malnutrition was not the sole cause for infant mortality but premature births, low birth weight, diseases like malaria, sicklecell, pneumonia were also responsible. NAGPUR: Minister for women and child development Pankaja Munde , in a written reply to a starred question tabled in the state assembly, has admitted that in a five-month span of September 2017 to January this year, as many as 995 infant deaths in 0-6 months age bracket were reported in the state.The reply was to a question tabled by members Ajay Chaudhari, Ajit Pwar, Dilip Walse-Patil, Jayant Patil and several others. They wanted to know if there was significant increase in infant mortality cases in the state if it was linked to malnutrition prevalent among expectant mothers and specific to residents living in hilly terrains of the state.The minister’s reply indicated that the issue of high rate of infant deaths prevailing for last three decades was no longer restricted to hilly regions like Melghat in Vidarbha’s Amravati district or some pockets in Thane but had now spread over to 16 districts. In the above mentioned five months, however, the infant deaths of 0 to 6 months age was 133 in Melghat and for entire state, it was 995.She also cited the malnutrition cases among infants figures collected for December last which were alarming in Nashik district at 6,663 and for Aurangabad at 3,575 as per data gathered under integrated child development scheme (ICDS).Further in the reply, Munde said the directions issued by chief minister to enlist services of MBBS and BAMS doctors for post of ICDS project directors was being discussed and the general administration department was framing guidelines rules for recruitment in group B posts which would be open for BA (nutrition), BSc (home science), BSc (child psychology) and BA (clinical psychology) graduates.

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