SRINAGAR: The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has registered tremendous decline in the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) during the last one year. The IMR has decreased from 20 to 17 in a single year much better than the national average of IMR which stands at 28 as per the Sample Registration System (SRS) 2020 report released by the Registrar General of India (RGI-SRS) today. The IMR is an important health indicator which shows a number of deaths of children up to one year of age per 1000 live births.
The National Health Mission (NHM) with the active support of entire Health and Medical Education Department has put persistent & tireless efforts to provide essential neonatal care at Government health institutions across the Union Territory.
One of the comprehensive measures in this regard includes an action plan devised by Health & Medical Education Department with support from Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare & Norway India Partnership Initiative in the form of Road Map for reducing IMR in the J&K UT in line with India Newborn Action Plan (INAP). The action plan is being implemented at all levels and focuses on community-based and facility-based interventions for accelerating the rate of decline in Infant Mortality through the strengthening of maternal & child health programmes.
Key health facility-based interventions that have been strengthened include up-gradation of Facility Based Newborn Care Units, Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA), Skilled Birth Attendance (SBA), Universalization of essential newborn care & resuscitation, Early and exclusive breast feeding etc. Special New-born Care Units (SNCU) have been established in 27 District / other equivalent Hospitals, 4 Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) in GMCs, New Born Stabilization Units (NBSUs) in 65 Community Health Centers level and New Born Care Corners (NBCCs) in 264 delivery points with financial and technical support from National Health Mission.
The community-based interventions that are being strengthened include Home Based Newborn Care, Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP), Intensified Diarrhoea Control Fortnight (IDCF), National Deworming Day (NDD), VHNDs and IMNCI; Also, Home Based Care for Young Child (HBYC) has been rolled out in entire J&K UT. In addition, J&K UT is implementing some new measures through Dakshata, LaQshya, Family Participatory Care (FPC) & Kangaroo mother care (KMC), in Special Newborn Care Units (SNCU), Paediatric Emergency triage and treatment (ETAT) Centers, Obstetric ICU and High Dependency Units in Labour rooms.
Mission Director NHM, J&K, Yasin M Choudhary has appreciated the efforts of Govt. Medical Colleges; Directorate of Health Services, Family Welfare, AYUSH all the field functionaries including doctors, paramedical staff, ASHA workers & Programme Management Unit staff for their continued efforts to improve maternal and newborn care in the UT which has resulted in continuous decrease in Infant Mortality Rate. He has further stressed for sustained efforts in future for better health care service delivery so as to further improve the maternal and child health indicators in the coming years.