Over 10,000 newborns die every year in Karnataka

Over 10,000 newborns die every year in Karnataka

Representative image. (Getty images)

Known for its progress in the field of healthcare, Karnataka is now worried over the increasing number of the death of newborns across the state. The issue of infant mortality, hitherto confined to some of the backward states of the country, has begun to make a sound in Karnataka as well, with the death of 57,655 newborns in the last five years.

As per the data of Sample Registration Survey (SRS) 2017, in Karnataka alone, 25 newborns have died due to malnutrition and other factors. While the state government has come up with Kangaroo mother care and specialised units to address the issues, the health department is yet to achieve the desired results. Despite spending more than Rs 12 crore every year on newborn care, Karnataka is witnessing the death of about 10,000 newborns every year.

READ: India accounts for 14% of global newborn deaths

Alarmingly, in the first half of the current financial year, as many as 3,208 infants have died in various districts of the state. In most of the cases, the deaths have been reported from the government hospitals at district and taluk headquarters frequented by the poor and lower-middle-class people.

30 deaths every day

Testimony to the worrying trend, over 30 newborns are dying every day in Karnataka. Bengaluru Urban district accounts for the highest number of such incidents followed by Kalaburagi, Raichur, Mysuru, Dharwad and Belagavi where more than 500 newborns reportedly die every year.

ALSO READ: Infant deaths - Malnutrition, late diagnosis major causes

According to a senior official of the health department, “Currently 29 out of 1000 kids within the age group of five-years are dying due to diarrhoea. If we could prevent this, the infant mortality rate can be reduced considerably,” the official explained.

ALSO READ: Where newborns go from cradle to grave

Adding further, the official explained, “The newborns who weigh less than 2.5 kg are treated at special newborn care units along with the mother. During this time, if the kid develops hypothermia, it has to be treated with light therapy. But most of the government maternity homes across the state lack such basic infrastructure.”

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