Maternal and child mortality rates have come down in the state as well as in Melghat as maternal and child health is being taken care of in Maharashtra even during the coronation period. In 2016-17, 407 child deaths were reported in Melghat, which has come down to 213 child deaths in 2020-21, while 86 deaths per lakh mothers have come down to 46, according to health department sources.
Maternal and child mortality in Melghat has always been a hot topic. Bandu Sane, a social activist from Melghat, has been raising the issue with the government and the courts. Whether it is the result or the vigilance of the health department, various measures are being taken by the health department to prevent maternal and child mortality in the areas including Melghat in Amravati. Out of this, the number of infant deaths in the age group of 0 to 1 decreased from 280 in 2016-17 to 172 infants in July 2020-21 while the number of deaths of 407 infants in the age group of 1 to 6 decreased to 213. According to the SRS report, Maharashtra has the third highest infant mortality rate and the second highest maternal mortality rate in the country. Dr. Archana Patil, Director, Health Department, said that measures are being taken by the health department to further reduce this number.
In Amravati, Dharani and Chikhaldara are two talukas coming under tribal area. In Melghat area, there is one sub-district hospital, two rural hospitals, 11 primary health centers, 92 sub-centers, 7 mobile health teams, 6 primary health teams, 22 flying squads and one allopathy and 4 ayurvedic dispensaries. Dr. Archana Patil said that there are 483 Anganwadi Centers and six ambulances with 108 toll free numbers.
Apart from this, special neonatal care room, neonatal stabilization room, nutrition rehabilitation center, child mortality investigation, home care scheme are being implemented in Melghat. Of these, 306 children have been admitted in the Nutrition Rehabilitation Center in 2020-21, while 105 malnourished children have been admitted in 23 Child Treatment Centers during the same period. The proportion of moderately underweight and severely underweight children has also declined compared to last year. Last year, the number of underweight children in Amravati district dropped from 23,229 to 20,678 at the end of June 2021, while the number of severely underweight children fell to 5,397 due to various measures, according to health department sources.
The Women and Child Development Department has conducted 207 online review meetings for child health in Melghat, mainly during the Coronation period. For Melghat, only 9 state-of-the-art ambulances, 3 motorbike ambulances, 11 primary health centers equipped with maternity wards, adequate medicines and oxygen concentrators for newborns, 3850 hypothermia kits etc. have been provided for Melghat and almost all posts from medical officers to health workers have been filled. Apart from this, contract gynecologists and pediatricians have also been appointed, said Dr. Archana Patil.
Dr. Pradeep Vyas, Additional Chief Secretary, Health Department, said that special care is being taken by the health department not only in Melghat but also in all tribal districts of the state for the health of mothers and children.