Bengaluru : Birth asphyxia accounts for nearly 20 per cent of neonatal deaths in Karnataka. At present, the Neonatal Mortality Rate (NMR) as per the Sample Registration Survey (SRS) 2015, is 19 for every 1,000 live births. According to SRS 2016, the infant mortality rate is 24 in Karnataka whereas Kerala and Tamil Nadu have much lower rates. To arrest this trend, the health department is setting up newborn resuscitation skill enhancement corners in 38 sick neonatal care units (SNCU) across the state.
“Eight high-priority districts and five other districts where birth asphyxia is high have been identified. These skill enhancement corners will be set up next to the SNCUs in these 13 district hospitals. For this, “10.26 lakh has been approved and the anesthetist of the district hospital will be the nodal officer. The staff nurse of the labour room and the SNCU along with the medical officer will be trained to resuscitate on mannequins whenever they find time between treating patients and will be documented,” an officer of the child health section of the health department said.
Although the Navjaat Shishu Suraksha Karyakram provides basic resuscitation training, neonates require endotracheal intubation which these skill enhancement corners will provide. Bagalkot, Bijapur, Kalaburagi, Raichur, Koppal, Gadag and Ballari are high priority districts while Bidar, Chamarajanagar, Davanagere, Hubballi, Mysuru and Bengaluru are other districts where birth asphyxia was found to be high. The hospitals identified are Vani Vilas, Cheluvamba, KIMS, Chigateri Government Hospital, Chamarajanagar District Hospital, VIMS, BRIMS, Gadag District Hospital, Koppal District Hospital, RIMS, Kalaburagi District Hospital, Bijapur District Hospital and Bagalkot District Hospital.
To prevent deaths of neonates during transport, four ambulances retrofitted with life-saving equipment will be stationed in Belagavi, Bengaluru, Mysuru and Kalaburagi district hospitals on a pilot basis. Estimated to cost of “96.3 lakh in all, the four ambulances will be fitted with ventilators, incubators, pulse oximeters, radiant warmers, multi-parameter NIBP monitors, bag valve mask, syringe infusion pumps, laryngoscope and glucometer. The ambulances will be procured by Karnataka State Drug Logistics and Warehousing Society.