Hyderabad: For the seventh consecutive year, Telangana has registered a drop in the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR), the key healthcare indicator that reflects the existing mother and child healthcare services available in government hospitals across the State. Back in 2014, the IMR for Telangana was 39 and since then it has registered a steady drop following consistent initiatives aimed at improving healthcare facilities for mother and children at government hospitals. The latest October 2021 Sample Survey System (SRS), the large-scale demographic survey conducted every year by the Registrar General of India in all States and UTs in the country, has indicated that IMR in Telangana has dropped to 23.
The SRS 2021 report has indicated that the IMR, which is defined as the number of infant deaths per 1,000 live births, for Telangana is less than the overall country average, which is at 30. Countrywide, the IMR had decreased to 30 in the year 2019 from 32 in the year 2018. The steady drop in IMR across Telangana has a direct link to the rise of institutional deliveries, which is fuelled by the KCR Kits initiative that comes with financial incentives for pregnant women along with a health and wellness kit for the mother and the infant.
The financial benefit scheme for pregnant women in Telangana also led to the rise in admissions at government maternity hospitals. Senior health officials said that since its launch in June 2017, the KCR Kits initiative single-handedly was responsible for at least 20 to 30 per cent increase of admissions in government maternity hospitals.
As a result, in terms of successfully taking-up deliveries, since 2017, government maternity hospitals in Telangana have consistently outperformed private healthcare facilities. Based on the KCR Kits statistics, since 2017, a total of 23,73,092 deliveries were taken up in Telangana of which 13,15,924 deliveries were conducted in private hospitals while 10,57,168 in private healthcare facilities.
In addition to the KCR Kits scheme, consistent expenditure on improving infrastructure at government maternity healthcare facilities also played a vital role in the improvement of IMR, senior health officials said. In the last few years, the Health Department added nearly nine MCH centres, each with 150 beds with a cost of nearly Rs 90 crore. At the tertiary level, the Niloufer Hospital is under further expansion, as authorities are looking to add 500 to 1,000 more beds, in addition to the upcoming 200 state-of-the-art facilities for pregnant women at Gandhi Hospital. The authorities have also developed 20 Intensive Care Units (ICUs) with each unit having ten beds at a cost of close to Rs 30 crore.
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