“Every Newborn Action Plan” (ENAP) was started in India, with contributions and efforts from many correspondents involved in maternal and child health. The plan brought forward surprising statistics on newborn care.
A WHO report says, over 35 million babies are born too early, too small or become sick and need specialised care to survive. There needs to be rapid progress in correcting our system; otherwise, the world will not meet this target for another 11 decades.
The most Vulnerable Period in an infant’s life is the First Month— It is this ‘first month’ during which most of the infant deaths can be prevented. 48 % of total deaths among children under the age of five are in the first month of birth. As Mortality among children under five years of age declined globally, death among children is more concentrated in the early days of life. This makes them focus on newborn care more critically.
Government Healthcare Programs—
- National Rural Health Mission— helps to provide equitable, affordable and quality health care to the rural population, especially the vulnerable groups. After the National Rural Health Mission [NRHM] was introduced, India has witnessed a significant improvement in neonatal health
- Janani Suraksha Yojana— Janani Suraksha Yojana is an intervention under the National Health Mission. It is being implemented to reduce maternal and newborn Mortality by promoting institutional delivery among poor pregnant women. This scheme was launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister and is under implementation in all states and Union Territories.
It is a centrally sponsored scheme, which integrates cash assistance with delivery and post-delivery care.
Other than the Janani Suraksha Yojana, the country has launched several new initiatives to improve neonatal health.
Challenges in Our Healthcare System— Improving the quality of care around the time of birth will save most lives, but this requires educated and equipped health workers, skills, and availability of essential commodities.
Despite the above efforts, the highest global share of deaths among the under-five-Year-old today still lies in our country. We still lack the funds and the infrastructure needed to tackle problems and complications from unsafe abortion, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy and even obstructed labour. Both the quality and quantity of the workforce in the healthcare domain is keeping us from achieving our targets.
Every neonate-where survives or not, teaches us something. Every newborn death must be attended to and accounted, for a stronger health system is what will get us there. New birth determines the progress of a country.
‘Maternal Malnutrition’ accounts for many babies with low birth weight and intrauterine growth restriction –the conditions that account for most newborn deaths and diseases in India. Till we reduce these figures, we cannot develop as a country as every mother lost in childbirth is a loss to the family. It puts enormous pressure on society. The journey to lower Neonatal and Infant deaths–is to address Maternal Mortality Rates.
In 2017, around 3 million babies died, mostly from preventable causes. About two-thirds of these deaths were babies born prematurely. An estimated 1 million ill newborns survive with a long-term disability. With proper care, these babies can live without major complications, but their quality of life takes a life-long beating.
Investing in Maternal, newborn and child health along the continuum of care from pre-pregnancy to childhood and beyond will strengthen a nation’s healthcare system.
India can prevent newborn deaths through proper treatment, education, immunisation campaigns, and adequate healthcare practices.
Between the year 2016 and 2030, as part of the Sustainable Development Goals, the target is to reduce the global maternal mortality ratio. Little efforts, like exclusive breastfeeding, skin-to-skin contact between the mother and the baby and access to proper and well-equipped health facilities staffed by skilled health workers, are needed.
The “Sustainable Development Goals” makes a bold decision to also end the AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other infectious diseases by 2030.
EKAM Foundation is a non-profit organisation, whose primary aim is to work towards providing Quality Healthcare to needy children and mothers in India. EKAM’s vision is to work for the wellbeing of children and mothers; and thereby contribute to a reduction in newborn, childhood, adolescent and maternal mortality rates.
EKAM is a very distinctive health care model, mainly focusing on neonates and infants. It complements the Public health care system. EKAM has provided health care at primary health centres, district hospitals and other tertiary care government hospitals.
So, log on to www.ekamoneness.org to learn more.