Opening of Nursing Schools rather than Medical Colleges essential, says Dr. Shubhashish Sircar

Eminent physician and pediatric specialist Dr. Shubhashish Sircar has stressed upon creation of more nursing schools than medical colleges to reduce neonatal deaths in India, so alarming and calling in the world scenario. His concern published in social media on April 2 deserves attention of our thinking and responsible visitors.

Here is his version:

Neonatal and Infant deaths in India top the list in the world. With exceptions like Kerala, most of Indian provinces witness alarming numbers of death of the new born within 24 hours of birth, as per ‘State of the World’s Mothers’ released on Tuesday, which shows, over three lakh newborns in India die within 24 hours of their birth every year.

In exact numerical terms, a total of 3,09,000 babies hardly survive a day.

India accounts for 29 per cent of all such deaths — ahead even of Nigeria, Pakistan and China, a study by Save the Children says.

According to the report, of the one million babies who die each year on the day they are born, almost 40 per cent are in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. It is disturbing that 3,09,000 out of 4,20,000 babies across South Asia die on their first day in India.

Quoting Sample Registration Survey (SRS 2011) figures, the report says Madhya Pradesh has the highest burden of early newborn deaths (0-7 days) at 32, followed closely by Uttar Pradesh and Orissa (30). Other States with high burden of neonatal deaths are Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Jammu & Kashmir.

Bangladesh has reduced newborn mortality by 49 per cent since 1990. Our neighboring Nepal has also reduced this mortality by 47 per cent since 1990. Community health workers reaching mothers and babies at home, and training birth attendants and medical staff in resuscitation devices to help babies breathe are factors in this progress.

What do we need to do?

We need to strengthen this basket of services with opening of Nursing Schools rather than Medical colleges. We need trained health personnel, not doctors, to address this urgent issue along with political commitment.

The starkest marker of tribal deprivation is child mortality, with under-five mortality rates among rural tribal children remaining startlingly high, at about 100 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2005 compared with 82 among all children. Three World Bank-supported State Health Systems Projects – in Rajasthan, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu adopted a number of innovative strategies to improve the health of tribal groups. This multi pronged strategy has not found a platform in Jharkhand. It needs to be adopted here.

Young tribal girls enter the reproductive age as victims of undernourishment and anemia,and face greater health risks as a result of early marriage, frequent pregnancies, unsafe deliveries,and sexually transmitted diseases. Women’s low social status makes them more likely to seek treatment only when the ailment is well advanced. Adolescent health, particularly tribal adolescent health needs prioritization. Without addressing adolescent health, we cannot address neonatal (NNMR) and infant mortality rates (IMR), not to talk of MMR.

There was no mention of immunization in the report. Though India boasts of the largest immunization program in the world, every year about 1.4 million children below the age of five die largely from vaccine preventable diseases like pneumonia, diarrhea, measles and newborn complications like sepsis.With over 27 million newborn targeted for immunization every year, the National full immunization coverage hovers around 61 per cent, implying that over nine million children are left out.

Immunization saves lives.



Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Even as Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh’s political boss Sonia Gandhi is using her power to project her son Rahul as the future PM, Thekki of Patnagarh, daughter of Hanu nag, who had sold away her three year son Gurubari for Rs.3000/- is not happy even after getting him back, as, to her there is no avenue available to feed her child.

Whither is Mother India wandering?

Look at Thekki and search for the answer.

A mother of three children, she has been abandoned by her husband. Whether he has left her with deliberate intention or under unavoidable compulsion, she does not know. But she knows, abject poverty has played the tricks.

She has no source of income. She has no land. She has none in the family on whom she can depend. Starved, she is in a state of inanition. Her third child, the last gift of the husband now no more with her, is suckling. No avenue of income is available in the village or near about. How to live and how to keep her children alive?

In such a predicament she had sold away her second child Gurubari, a son aged three, for that seemed to be the instant life-support to her and the rest two children besides being the best way to save her second son from starvation death.

Media exposed this sordid event in order only to expose the misrule that has engulfed Orissa.

And Orissa government in order to stop further spread of the picture of its misrule, pressed the area Sub-Collector to force the purchaser of the boy to surrender him to avoid prosecution and thus the boy has come back to his mother.
Depositing the child on her lap, the Sub-Collector had ordered for supply of 20 Kgs of rice to her to preempt allegation of starvation death, if any occurs in future. The person who delivered the rice has perhaps misappropriated one kg thereof and thus, nineteen kg rice has been given to her.

She does not know what to do and how to live hereafter.

The swindlers who, headed by the then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, had sold away our public assets to private profiteers by forming a specific ministry for that treacherous purpose, have already started their election campaign to register in public mind a hard core communalist as their Prime Ministerial candidate when the incumbent PM Dr. Man Mohan Singh is single-mindedly concentrated on contriving ways to serve the nuke interest of USA even though that would be sheer catastrophic for the peoples of India.

Trading between these two lurking dangers to our democracy, queen of cautious stratagem Sonia Gandhi has been building up her son Rahul to grab power.

When national politics is thus shrouded under the clouds of vested interests, Orissa, ethically averse to BJP and circumstantially to Congress, has embraced a bear that does not bother for the children of the soil when outsider industrialists warrant his services.

Where to shall go the Thekkis and their children? Whither Mother India is wandering?