Nagaon, July 22: Nagaon saw a near 10 per cent rise in institutional delivery in the past five months as rate of admission of such cases reached 88.14 per cent from previous 79.56 per cent.
The rise rides on the back of Dispur’s direction to the local administration for sterner steps against those who indulge in keeping a pregnant woman at home as the percentages of maternal and infant mortality rates are highest in the central Assam district.
“Following instruction from chief minister Tarun Gogoi, we launched our special drive in conjunction with health department and local police. Health workers were directed to keep constant watch on possible cases of births at home, specially in the areas where people are more dependent on unauthorised health workers who suggest childbirth at home,” said Nagaon deputy commissioner P. Ashok Babu.
According to him, two such cases were detected in the district and with the help of local police, the patients, who were in a critical condition, were taken to the nearest hospital.
The first case was traced to an interior village under Hojai first referral unit (FRU) and the second at a Nagaon-Karbi Anglong bordering area under Jakhalabandha FRU.
The health department registered 3,422 cases of births at home and 17,560 institutional delivery cases in the district between January and May. During the period, 45 infants born at home and 24 born in hospitals died in the district. Maternal death cases were five in case of births at home and two in case of hospitals.
In May, 384 births at home and 3,615 institutional delivery cases were registered in the district.
According to a health department source, ignorance, illiteracy and backwardness, coupled with activities of dhais (unauthorised health workers) are responsible for infant and maternal deaths at home.
Alarming rate of infant and maternal mortality rate in the central Assam district pushed Dispur in establishing first referral units in five remote areas of the district between 1995 and 2004.
“Right now, all our institutions, even the grassroots-level public health centres, are well-equipped to face any pregnancy-related case at any time. For complicated cases, patients are forwarded to the nearest FRU or BP Civil hospital for better treatment,” said a health department source.