In Telangana, the present NMR rate of 25 -defined as death of newborns between birth to 28 days of age per 1,000 live births in a given year -happens to be highest in South India, according to government data. The national NMR rate now stands at 28.
Under TNAP , the Centre has already sanctioned Rs 761 lakh to the state government for child health in 2015-16 to government hospitals to strengthen existing newborn care facilities and set up new ones.
“Our target is to bring down NMR rate to less than 10 by 2030. This we are going to achieve by ensuring that there are at least three Special New Born Care Units (SNCUs) in each district,” said Dr C Laxma Reddy , adding that Telangana is the first state in South India to implement an online monitoring system for all SNCUs. In fact, government officials said that the Telangana state is already showing improvement on the NMR front as against during undivided AP . The NMR rate used to be 27 but had come down to 25 now. However, despite a two-point drop in NMR rate, sources said that the last one year saw around 12,000 neonatal deaths in Telangana.
“These deaths were attributed to causes like pre maturity , birth asphyxia, neona tal sepsis, birth defects, home de liveries, delay in early initiation of breast feeding, lack of maternal education among others,” said Dr Gagan Gupta, health specialist, During the workshop, which was attended by top health officials of the state including principal secretary health Rajeshwar Tiwari, birth defect e-registry was launched by commissioner of health and family welfare, Telangana.
Said to be a first of its kind in India, sources that the the e-registry would identify all children with birth defects in Telangana by linking all hospitals in a phased manner so that corrective measures could be initiated.