Dignitaries at the World Prematurity Day event at Niloufer Hospital
Dignitaries at the World Prematurity Day event at Niloufer Hospital

Redhills:  Healthcare leaders in Telangana joined together at Niloufer Hospital here on Friday to pledge their support to improve health outcomes for babies born preterm.

Dr K Manohar, CEO of the Aarogyasri Health Care Trust, and Dr Ramesh Reddy, Director Medical Education of the Government of Telangana, Dr Srinivasa  Gadala, CPO, National Health Mission, joined the Medical Superintendent of Niloufer, Dr Murali Krishna, and other key staff from the hospital, the Head of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of Fernandez Hospital, and representatives from ACCESS Health International, UNICEF, and the National Neonatology Forum to place their handprints on a white sheet to symbolise their promise to ensure that preterm babies are given access key interventions that can help ensure their survival.

Dr Manohar said, “We are struggling to improve the parameters of health care. Already Telangana reduced MMR in comparison to National standard, that's one good achievement and are matching the national standard. Thanks to the introduction of KCR kits, high-risk pregnancies can be marked right from day one. It helps to provide proper antinatal care; we can avoid malnutrition and improve anaemia and all the pre-disposing factors.”

Telangana has become a leader in providing quality care to new-borns in India. Recently, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has ranked Telangana second in the country in terms of quality of care in Special Newborn Care Units. For the country overall, while there have been recent declines in maternal and neonatal mortality too many babies continue to die of complications due to premature birth.

Of the 27 million babies born in India annually, approximately 13 percent (3.5 million) are born preterm and more than one quarter (7.6 million) have low birthweight. Being born prematurely or with a low birthweight significantly increases the risk of dying in the days immediately following birth.