Lapses in post-natal and newborn care, only 24% 24×7 PHCs operationalised

Disproving the Gujarat government’s claims of improving health indicators in the State, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), in its report tabled in the State Assembly on Friday, revealed that maternal mortality rate (MMR) has been rising in the State since 2014, up from 72 in 2013-14 to 85 in 2015-16.

“The State government data indicated that the MMR changed unfavourably from 72 in the year 2013-14 to 80 in 2014-15 and finally to 85 in 2015-16. Considering the pace and direction of achievement of the goals, it would be difficult for the State to achieve the target of 67 by March 2017,” the report noted.

According to the auditor, implementation of the Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK), a Central government scheme, did not help in achieving the MMR goals in the State.

The CAG report further stated that 15,817 newborns died in the State within the first week of birth owing to various lapses on the part of the health department in providing prescribed care and treatment to the newborns.

The audit further revealed that the State was required to operationalise 50% Primary Health Centres (PHCs) as 24×7 PHCs by 2010 but as of August 2016, only 24% PHCs were operationalised as 24×7 PHCs.

“During 2013-16, 56% home deliveries were performed in the absence of skilled birth attendants, while a minimum stay of 48 hours after normal delivery for the better care and treatment of mother and child was not ensured,” the report said.

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