Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Nabarangpur, June 15:
Despite Janani Surakhya and MAMATA Yojana, anganwadis and what not, Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) and Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) remain alarmingly high in Odisha’s Nabarangpur district.
While the national average for MMR stands at 178 per one lakh pregnant women and the state average is 235, it is a mind-numbing 421 in Nabarangpur district as per data available with the district Health department.The district’s average in more than twice the national average.
A total of 121 pregnant women have died in different hospitals of the district within the last one year, according to the report. The report has estimated that the actual MMR figure could be much higher considering the fact that many pregnant women staying in remote areas of the district never come to the hospital.
According to an estimate, 41% of the maternal deaths are due to anaemia while 12 % deaths are due to sepsis, 16% due to hemorrhage, 2.5% due to miscarriages, 6% due to travel during pregnancy and other related problems, 7% due to mental stress and 55% due to other factors. Along with the above, early marriage, minor pregnancy and malnutrition and anaemia are some of the causes of maternal deaths, said Dr Niranjan Nayak, CDMO Nabarangpur.
Of the 121 maternal deaths in hospitals across the district in 2014-15, the maximum of 32 deaths had taken place at the Nabarangpur district headquarters hospital while 17 deaths occurred at the Nabarangpur Christian Hospital.
The figures for the other hospitals were 11 in Umerkote, 2 in Sanmasigan, 5 in Chandahandi, 6 in Dabugan, 22 in Hatbharandi, 3 in Jharigan, 7 in Kosagumuda, 1 in Nandahandi, 8 in Pujariguda and 4 in Tentulikhunti, the report said. The report mentions that the maximum number of 19 maternal deaths in the district took place in August 2014.
While six maternal deaths took place in April this year, there were eight such deaths in May, the report said.
Besides, 1366 infant deaths have been reported in the district within the last one year, 94 of them in April this year and 122 in May.
While both IMR and MMR remain grim in Nabarangpur district, no steps have been taken at the government level to curb it. The district headquarters hospital has only one specialist in the obstetrics and gynecology department apart from the Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO), who is himself a gynecologist. The government hospital at Umerkote has one contractual gynecologist.
These are the only three specialists in obstetrics and gynaecology posted in the government hospitals in the whole district.
Poor health service, shortage of doctors and lack of awareness among the people is believed to the principal reason behind the high IMR and MMR in the district.