Minister of State for Health, Mr Shabir Ahmad Khan today said that better Health services have helped to bring down the Infant mortality rate in the state, while steps are also afoot to create adequate infrastructure to make available Neonatal care facilities at all district hospitals to check the newborn deaths.
“Infant mortality rate has come down from 35 in 2006 to 32 in 2011 but there is a need to make available adequate neonatal care facilities to avoid the newborn deaths”, Shabir said at a day-long workshop on ‘Home Based New born Care (HBNC) ASHA Module’ organized by J&K National Rural Health Mission here today.
The objective of the workshop was to sensitize the District Resource Persons, Monitors and ASHA facilitators engaged for training the ASHAs at Block Levels.
The Minister stressed the need to focus on containing the neonatal mortality by improving the Facility Based and Home Based New born Care in the State.
He said the facility for new born Care is being improved by establishing Sick New born Care Units at District Level and Stabilization Units at CHC Level besides Baby Care Units at delivery points in all Primary Health Centres and Sub Health Centers in the state.
The Health Minister said the Home Based Newborn Care would prove a key intervention in decreasing the neonatal mortality being carried out with the help of AHSAs at community level. He said the ASHAs would guide the pregnant mothers and their families in providing neonatal care at home.
The Health Minister said that at present 12000 ASHAs are working actively in the state to provide the services at gross root level. He said training of ASHAs in Home Based New born Care would be a big challenge for the State Health authorities. He said the trainers at State, District and Block Levels have been trained in HBNC and provided kits for the training of the ASHAs.
The Health Minister said that 4850 ASHAs have been trained in HBNC till date. He said under this programme ASHAs would make home visits for the care of mother and new born for which they would be entitled for an incentive of Rs. 250.
The Health Minister said that during home visits ASHAs would provide services like weighing of new born, measuring new born temperature, insuring warmth, supporting exclusive breast feeding, promoting hand washing, providing skin care, eye care etc. and would also identify the sick new born for their admission/referral to higher institutions.
He said such programmes would prove beneficial to improve the neonatal care at the community level and help in reducing the newborn mortality.
The Minister appreciated the efforts of NRHM and Health department for their hard work to improve health care in the state. He said the Resource Persons and ASHAs are doing yeoman’s job in improving healthcare facilities in the state and hoped that they would continue their efforts to make the state disease free.
He said that the programme would help them to improve their knowledge and skills about the HBNC program so that they can also supervise and monitor the on-going trainings at the block level.
Speaking on the occasion, the Mission Director NRHM, Dr Yash Paul threw light on various components of NRHM being implemented in the state for improvement of healthcare facilities. He said this programme was arranged to impart necessary training of neonatal care to resource persons and ASHA facilitators so that they would deliver better services at grass-root level. He hoped that the NRHM program Managers at different levels would not only help CMOs/BMOs in proper implementation of NRHM schemes but would also evolve community participation and transparency in the system.