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Bhadrachalam:  The bed strength of the 10-bed Special Neonatal Care Unit (SNCU) at the Area Hospital here has been augmented by 10 beds, thus taking the total number of beds at the unit to 20.

It may be recalled that the then Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy launched the SNCU on August 8, 2012 to extend necessary medical facilities to the newborn with low birth weight and other health problems.

Recently, the State government made a proposal to increase the bed strength by 10. The National Arogya Mission Executive Committee responded positively to the proposal and gave its approval.

The Centre is keen to sanction a ventilator to the SNCU as there were reports of death of some of the newborn for want of ventilators.  Of the 6,715 newly born infants admitted to the facility, 75 per cent of them belong to the Adivasi community.

The Health Department officials said that the newly born infants were facing health problems due to the low birth weight and premature delivery. Dr Kailash Mohan takes care of the new born at the SNCU.

During the past five years, over 8,475 babies received treatment at the facility, including 3,854 females. Of them, 3,610 male babies and 3,105 females completed the course of treatment. 

More than 351 babies were born in the Area hospital but they died at the SNCU while undergoing treatment. Similarly, 286 babies born in other hospitals admitted to SNCU also died.

As the running of the SNCU is very encouraging, there is every likelihood that a ventilator would be sanctioned.  As the Area Hospital here has been strategically located catering to the needs of the three states – Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh – a ventilator is likely to be sanctioned soon for the benefit of patients, as majority of them belong to the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and OBC categories.