Maternal and Neonatal mortality rate high in India : Study

22 July, Hyderabad

Maternal and Neonatal mortality rate is high in India, a study conducted by WaterAid said.
To develop a greater understanding about the status of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in healthcare facilities, WaterAid India carried out assessments of WASH in 343 facilities in 12 districts across six states over a period of 18 months.

With 167 maternal deaths per 1,00,000 live births and 28 newborn deaths per 1,000 live births, India has one of the highest rates of maternal and neonatal mortality in the world. One in five newborn deaths, could be prevented by ensuring access to clean water and by providing a clean birthing environment, WaterAid said in its assesment findings report released here today.

India needs a healthy start as healthcare facilites across the country have poor water, sanitation and hygiene, finds WaterAid.

During the study, it found that around 38 per cent of the sampled facilities in Ganjam district of Odisha have open defecation within the premises while 36 per cent of the sampled Primary Health Centres (PHCs) in Vizianagaram (Andhra Pradesh) and 47 per cent in Nizamabad (Telangana) had inadequate water supply.

75 per cent of the sampled PHCs and Community Health Centres (CHCs) in Bhopal, 87 per cent in Sehore and 95 per cent in Panna district of Madhya Pradesh had waste dumped in or around the healthcare facility, the study said.

Poor biomedical waste management (including segregation and disposal) was observed at all the 30 sampled health facilities across Raichur district in Karnataka.
Though 83 per cent of the sampled facilities have required resources for biomedical waste management, appropriate procedures were not followed, it said.

A total of 63 facilities were sampled in four districts of Uttar Pradesh like Agra, Banda, Lucknow and Varanasi. Toilets in all facilities were unclean with PHCs and CHCs having very low cleanliness ratings (average of 0.83 and 1.13 out of a score of 10 respectively) and district hospitals with an average score of 3.75 out of 10, the study also revealed.

In light of the increasing recognition that WASH plays a critical role in health outcomes and our assessment findings, WaterAid India has launched ‘Healthy Start’, a new campaign with an aim to integrate safe WASH in healthcare facilities on the occasion.

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