Infant mortality due to socio-eco issue: M’laya CM

Infant mortality due to socio-eco issue: M’laya CM
Conrad Sangma
Correspondent SHILLONG, NOV 9 | Publish Date: 11/9/2020 1:07:14 PM IST

Meghalaya Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma on Monday said that the Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) and Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) in the state was a socio-economic and health issue.

Expressing “serious concern” over the Maternal Mortality Rate and Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) in the state, Sangma said, “These deaths are consistently taking place, which is sad”.

“The cause of MMR was because 10 percent of the deliveries are teen pregnancies, 30 percent are more than the third delivery below the age of 30 and around 40 percent are unintended of unwarranted pregnancies,” the Chief Minister said in his reply to a calling attention motion moved by Opposition Congress legislator, Himalaya Muktan Shangpliang.

“...  We realise the need of taking measures in certain areas to decrease it,” Sangma said, even as he underscored that no spacing in births leads to deaths. He also informed the House that there are cases wherein by the age of 19 years, women have three children without any birth spacing and teenage pregnancy in the state was mainly due to socio-economic conditions. The maternal and infant mortality in the state, which recorded over 13,000 infant deaths in the age group of 0-12 months and around 1000 maternal deaths over the last five years.

Sangma further informed the house that the number of maternal deaths in the year 2015 was 211 and in 2016 it was 198, while the number was 197 in 2017 and 164 in 2018, adding that in 2019, the number was 174 and so far this year, the state has registered 61 deaths of mothers during child birth.

On infant deaths in the age group of 0-12 months, he informed that in 2015, the number was 2530, 2427 in 2016, 2512 in 2017, 2074 in 2018, 2574 in 2019 and 889 so far this year.

The Chief Minister also informed the House that an amount of Rs. 350 crore has been approved by the World Bank which will be invested in overall health infrastructure like in Primary Health Centres, Community Health Centres and Sub-Centres.

Sangma informed that among other things the fund from the World Bank will also be invested in information technology systems like facilities for tele-medicines.

The Chief Minister also outlined the features about Meghalaya’s Outcome Oriented Transformation in Health, Nutrition, Education and Rural Development (MOTHER) programme and said that through the use of technology, the government was mapping pregnant women, high risk mothers across the state with specific details about their doctors, dates of expectation and other information.  

The Chief Minister also stated that the reason the health department had highlighted the MMR and IMR between April and July this year was because due to the pandemic there was too much focus on COVID-19. “We tried to bring this perspective. There are many other issues (apart from COVID) we should be turning to. There are also other reasons due to which people are losing their lives,” Sangma said.

Earlier, initiating the discussion, Shangpliang said that pregnant women and infants are still victims of poor medical attention, lack of institutional delivery and poor post natal care of mothers and their babies.

The Congress legislator also pointed out that due to the corona pandemic many government programmes like immunisation, regular pre-natal and post-natal examination camps have taken a back seat.

“The State has an infant mortality rate of 34 deaths per 1000 live births and pneumonia is the major cause of deaths of babies,” Shangpliang said while informing the House that South West Garo Hills district has more cases of babies dying due to hypothermia. He also urged the government to check teenage pregnancy for future benefit of women in terms of their health.

 “Between June and September there have been 56 cases of teenage pregnancy in South West Khasi Hills district alone,” Shangpliang informed. 


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