Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 8:
Odisha Government plans to spend Rs 50 crore to initiate a special drive to contain Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) in 68 blocks of 15 districts of the state this year.
A decision on this count has been taken in a high-level meeting chaired by the Chief Minister at the secretariat yesterday.
These 68 highly vulnerable blocks have been identified in Bolangir, Boudh, Deogarh, Gajapati, Kandhamal, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Keonjhar, Koraput, Nabarangpur, Malkangiri, Mayurbhanj, Rayagada, Sonepur and Sundergarh districts of the state, official sources said.
It may be noted that the MMR and IMR in the state are way higher than the national average. As per data provided by the government, MMR stands at 222 per one lakh pregnant women in Odisha, while IMR stands at 51 per 1,000 child births. 37 of the 1,000 newborns die.
The state government has set a target to bring down the MMR to 117, IMR to 30 and new-born death rate to 23 by 2020.
As per the new strategy revealed by the government, the vacant posts of doctors and auxiliary nurse midwives would be filled within a specific time frame.
Apart from the three existing medical colleges in Cuttack, Burla and Berhampur, the government would upgrade infrastructure and facilities at Capital Hospital of Bhubaneswar and Ispat General Hospital of Rourkela.
The government would also set up a special cell in the health and family welfare department to monitor MMR and IMR related cases and upgrade labor rooms from community health centres till medical colleges.
The ST/SC Development Department, Women and Child Development and Health and Family Welfare of the Odisha Government would work in tandem to bring down rates of MMR and IMR.