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Neonatal ambulance service launched

Special Correspondent

Two ambulances bought at a cost of Rs.14 lakh each

Photo: K.Pichumani

Nice:Health Minister V.S.Vijay looking at the equipment inside the neonatal ambulance at the Institute of Child Health in Chennai on Wednesday.

CHENNAI: In an attempt to reduce neonatal mortality rate in the State, the government in association with EMRI, launched neonatal ambulance services on Wednesday.

The State Health and Family Welfare Minister V.S. Vijay who flagged off two ambulances at the Institute of Child Health, Egmore, here said they were bought at a cost of Rs. 14 lakh each. The current infant mortality rate was 39/1000 live births and 40 per cent of deaths occurred on the first day itself, he added.

The ambulance project was by EMRI in partnership with Institute of Child Health and National Rural Health Mission to address this critical issue. For the first time in the country such a project had been launched, he claimed. The vehicle is state-of-the-art, fully equipped, baby-friendly, compact and scientifically designed and manned by well-trained medical personnel.

At present the neonatal mortality rate in the State was 28/1000 and the State government wanted to bring down the number to 20/1000. In a phased manner, the neonatal ambulance would be introduced in all the districts in the State.

With the launching of ambulances, the neonatal mortality rate would decline in the State, as transporting babies to health care centres is the crucial link that was missing so far, Dr. Vijay said.

The basic stabilisation of a neonate, as part of the pre-hospital care comprising of managing and maintaining the airway, breathing and circulation would be taken care of in the ambulance.

The focus would also be on preventing hypoxia, hypothermia and infection, which were the leading causes for death in the neonatal age group.

Advanced life support systems such as incubator with ventilator, pulse-oxymeter, trans-illuminator and specialised equipment to monitor the vitals would be available in the ambulances, Dr. Vijay added.

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