BHUBANESWAR: The State Government is all set to launch a special programme in 161 backward blocks of 15 districts to reduce maternal and infant mortality rates which are still much higher than the national average.
Under the special programme, the State Government will strengthen the basic infrastructure of healthcare centres in the identified blocks to ensure safe delivery and special care of pregnant women and newborn babies to reduce their mortality rate.
The programme is estimated to cost `211 crore and will be implemented over five years beginning from October this year. The State Government has made a budgetary provision of `95 crore for the current financial year, Health and Family Welfare Secretary Arti Ahuja said after a review meeting here on Monday.
Action plan has been prepared for each district taking into consideration a host of factors including the existing health service facility, income level of people and maternal and infant mortality rates, she said.
A comprehensive healthcare package comprising reproductive and child health services, family planning, immunisation, supply of delivery kits, kits for newborn babies, supplementary nutrition for pregnant women and lactating mothers and training for health workers has been prepared for these backward blocks.
Intensive child care centres have been set up in inaccessible areas for emergency treatment of pregnant women and newborn babies, official sources said.
A joint management committee has been constituted at the State level and district level officials have been provided required training to deal with the situation in interior pockets having no proper communication and other facilities.
The special programme will be launched at Balangir, Boudh, Deogarh, Gajapati, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Nuapada, Keonjhar, Koraput, Nabarangapur, Malkangiri, Mayurbhanj, Rayagada, Sonepur and Sundargarh.
As per the data compiled by sample registration system of the Centre, the maternal mortality rate (MMR) in Odisha is 222 per one lakh population while the infant mortality rate (IMR) is 49 per thousand children, one of the highest in the country.
However, the national average of MMR is 167 while the IMR is 40 per thousand population. The IMR in several States including Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Maharashtra is less than Odisha.