Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 22:
Health and Family Welfare minister Atanu Sabyascahi Nayak on Friday admitted in the Odisha Assembly that an average of 29 newborn babies die in the state every day.
Replying to a question, the minister said while 10, 459 newborn (up to four weeks) deaths were reported in 2013-14 , 5797 newborns have died between April and September this year. The majority of newborn deaths take place in the tribal dominated districts of the state, the minister said.
Going by last year’s statistics, Bolangir had registered the highest of 967 newborn deaths followed by Kalahandi with 836s. Mayurbhanj, Sundargarh, Keonjhar and Bargarh districts have also reported high number of newborn deaths during the period, the minister said.
Nayak, however, said the state government has set up sick newborn care units, 49 newborn care units and 662 newborn care centres in the state to curb premature deaths.
“The state government has spent Rs 200 crore in the last three years towards strengthening the infrastructure to bring downthe infant mortality rate (IMR) in the state,” Nayak added.