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Blood storage facilities planned at maternity Primary Health Centres

Special Correspondent

Mothers developing postpartum haemorrhage will get emergency transfusion

— Photo: R. Shivaji Rao

CHECKING MORTALITY: Kunihiko Chris Hirbayashi, Deputy Director-Programmes, UNICEF India Country Office, Delhi (left), with Health Secretary V.K. Subburaj and Satish Kumar, UNICEF State Representative, at a workshop in Chennai on Thursday.

CHENNAI: The government will create blood storage facilities at maternity Primary Health Centres (PHC) to ensure that mothers developing postpartum haemorrhage, the leading cause of maternal mortality, get prompt access to emergency transfusion, Health Secretary V. K. Subburaj said on Thursday.

Inaugurating a two-day workshop on ‘Achieving Maternal and Child Health Related MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) in Tamil Nadu,’ he said this was among the interventions the government proposed to improve the State’s record on the maternal (and infant) mortality front. Addressing Health Department officials attending the workshop, hosted by the Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R. Medical University and UNICEF, Mr. Subburaj said maternal deaths continued to be a cause for serious concern in an otherwise impressive health scenario.

Mr. Subburaj said strategies should be devised to address the issue of low-birth-weight babies, who started their life with inherent health risks. An estimated 40 per cent of the newborns in Tamil Nadu were low-birth-weight.

Kunihiko Chris Hirbayashi, Deputy Director-Programmes, UNICEF India Country Office, Delhi, said the high prevalence of anaemia—70 per cent among infants and 50 per cent among women—constituted an important challenge to India’s progress towards the goals by 2015.

UNICEF’s State Representative Satish Kumar highlighted the need for working out epidemiologically sound, clinically appropriate and desirable hospital practices to get closer to development targets. So far hospitals and medical colleges had not fully participated in public health and child survival movements that started in the 1970s.

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