Infant Mortality Rate highest in State in South India: IAP

Many paediatricians hesitate to take up critical cases and operations for infants, says IAP A.P. chief

Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) in Andhra Pradesh continues to be 34 per 1,000 live births and it is double compared to neighbouring State Tamil Nadu where IMR is only 17 per 1,000 as per Niti Aayog data and studies of Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) which is one of the India’s oldest associations established in 1963 in Mumbai. The IMR is 10 in Kerala, 24 in Karnataka and 31 in Telangana. Although Andhra Pradesh has best medical facilities in almost all 13 districts, death of infants could not be controlled due to various reasons.

Death of Infants below one year of age will come under IMR category. Speaking to The Hindu, IAP-AP chapter president D.V. Srikanth said IMR could be reduced to a significant level with the concerted efforts of all paediatricians in association with the government agencies.

“Many paediatricians hesitate to take up critical cases and operations for infants born with multiple complications. Instead of referring the cases to super-specialty hospitals, they should take the responsibility with confidence to save precious lives since golden hour plays a key role in treatment,” he added.

‘Continuing medical education’

“To achieve this, IAP has given top priority for continuing medical education to young paediatricians under Yuva-CME programme. Different chapters were started for sharing knowledge in intensive care, infectious diseases, paediatric cardiology, nephrology and others. The doctors with specialised subjects will meet frequently to exchange ideas and discuss advanced technology in handling critical cases of infant patients,” he added.

He said that malnutrition and anaemia among the mothers and infants were the root causes for many health complications “The mothers are unable to ensure proper breastfeeding to the kids. That is many infants are affected by diseases in the absence of required immunity. Continuous healthcare during pregnancy will lead to delivery of healthy babies. It ensures their survival and reduce IMR in Andhra Pradesh. All the 4,000 paediatricians in 13 districts should vow to reduce IMR in Andhra Pradesh,” said Dr. Srikanth.

Two best branches

IAP-India selected A.P. as one of the two best branches in the country for taking up intensive studies with sub-committees over infant diseases. Dr. Srikanth, who will receive the award on January 8 in Indore of Madhya Pradesh, submit a detailed report to the national body over child health index in Andhra Pradesh.

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