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PIL on infant deaths
HC calls for status report on mortality rate
SRINAGAR, July 8: The High Court has asked for status report on infant mortality rate since March this year from the administration of G B Pant children hospital and Lal Ded maternity hospital neonatal care unit.

A division bench of the High Court comprising of Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice D S Thakur has also ordered registrar academics Government Medical College Srinagar to file affidavit on private practice of consultants and what duration they are supposed to remain in classes in the college.

The secretary health and medical education and director social welfare have been directed to file status of nutritional schemes meant for mother and child with regard to various directions passed by the court during the course of hearing in the matter.

Secretary Health and Medical Education has also been directed to file affidavit with regard to progress made in the filling up of various posts in his department.

On January 2, the Court had asked the Social Welfare Department (SWD) to file response to an affidavit by Medical Superintendent (MS) of GB Pant Hospital, Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS).

Besides outlining the probable causes and remedies for malnutrition in pregnant women, Dr Muneer Masoodi, the MS G B Pant hospital in his affidavit had stressed need for implementation in letter and spirit of ICDS—a flagship programme by Government of India to tackle maternal and child malnutrition.

Dr Masoodi had said billions of rupees are spent annually on this programme and as per NFHS-3 (National Family Health Survey Data) final report, 78 percent women, supposed to get benefited by this scheme, do not receive any services.

“It is recommended that since the ICDS scheme is established in all rural, tribal and hilly areas of the state, its implementation at gross root level and evaluation by an independent organization will make a lot of difference in the qualitative and quantitative services which are to be provided to all the beneficiaries in the state,” Dr Masoodi had said, adding, “The network of thousands of the Anganwari works existing in the state is enough to turn the tide in favour of the pregnant and lactating females if implemented in letter and spirit.”

The MS G B Pant has also pointed out other nutritional programmes like anaemia prophylaxis, tetanus immunisation, ante natal check ups and weight monitoring programmes of pregnant ladies at MCH centres can detect malnutrition at an early age where active interventions are possible.

He has pointed out anaemia among the main causes of malnutrition in more than 50 percent of women. “Anaemia leads to a number of complications during pregnancy, childbirth and after childbirth,” he has said in his affidavit.

Dr Masoodi has further listed protein energy malnutrition also known as food gap as other major cause in the context and said that deficiency of both animal protein (meat, egg, fish) and vegetable protein (Soyabin, groundnuts, etc) causes Low Birth Weight (LBW), Intra Urine Growth Retardation (IURG) with decreased chances of survival after birth.

News Updated at : Monday, July 8, 2013
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