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India records the highest number of deaths of newborns on the first day of life
As per “State of the World’s Mothers 2013 report, India has the highest number of deaths of newborns on the first day of life. As per report, an estimated 309,000 newborns die on the first day of life in India. As per Registrar General of India, SRS 2011 report Neo-natal Mortality rate (NMR) per 1000 live births of MP, UP and Odisha is 32, 30 and 30 respectively.

The Health of the mother has an important bearing on the health of the child. Thus interventions for improvement of maternal health are critical for improving survival of newborn and are deemed to be intervention for both maternal and child health. Under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), the following interventions are being implemented.

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1) Strengthening of Facility based New-born Care through establishment of sick newborn care units (SNCU) at district level and Newborn Stabilization Units (NBSUs) at FRU and Newborn Care Corners at all delivery points. A total of 470 SNCU, 1640 NBSU and 13460 NBCC are operational in the country.

2) Promotion of Institutional Delivery through Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) and Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK): Promoting Institutional delivery to ensure skilled birth attendance is key to reducing both maternal and neo-natal mortality. JSY incentivizes pregnant women to opt for institutional delivery and provides for cash assistance. JSSK entitles all pregnant women to absolutely free and zero expense delivery including caesarean section operation in Government health facilities and provides for free to and fro transport, food, drugs and diagnostics. Similar entitlements have also been put in place for sick neonates and infants.

3) Home Based New-born Care (HBNC): Home based new-born care through ASHA is carried out to improve new born care practices at the community level and for early detection and referral of sick new born babies.

4) Capacity building of health care providers: Various trainings are being conducted under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) to build and upgrade the skills of doctors, nurses and ANM for early diagnosis and case management of common ailments of children and care of new-born at time of birth. These trainings include Integrated Management of Neo-natal and Childhood Illness (IMINCI) and Navjaat Shishu Surakshta Karyakaram (NSSK).

5) Management of Malnutrition: As breastfeeding reduces infant mortality, exclusive breastfeeding for first six months and appropriate infant and young child feeding practices are being promoted in convergence with Ministry of Woman and Child Development.

6) Village Health and Nutrition Days (VHNDs) are also being organized for imparting nutritional counselling to mothers, improving child care practices and provision of immunization services.

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