81 pc births are unattended to: Study

Kathmandu, January 24:

Due to improper child delivery practices, 33 out of 1,000 babies are annually dying within a month of delivery.

A recent Demographic Health Survey conducted by the Department of Health Services (DHS), revealed the statistics and also pointed out that 81 per cent of total deliveries are carried out at homes, and the skilled birth attendants attend merely 18 per cent of them.

“Insecure home and community practices have resulted to the high number of newborn’s death since 50 per cent of the total deaths are caused by various types of infections,” said Prof Dr Dharma Saran Manandhar,

executive director of Mother and Infant Research Activities (MIRA) and head of Paediatrics Department, Kathmandu Medical College.

“Deliveries are conducted in dark rooms, on dirty mattresses and unclean utensils are used, among others resulting it to the infections in the babies,” said Dr Manandhar.

It is believed that hospitals is the only place to treat newborns or reduce the neonatal death rate, Dr Manandhar said adding, “But in the country, where majority of people live in the rural areas, a large number of newborn death and diseases can be reduced by implementing simple, low-cost interventions during delivery at home.”

Dr Manandhar also said that awareness programmes on proper delivery and handling of babies, signs of danger during pregnancy should be conducted. A recent research suggested that awareness on preventing infections to women groups reduced newborn mortality.