GULBARGA, August 27: Municipal Administration and Wakf Minister Qamar-ul Islam has stressed the need to improve the performance under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and utilise the funds available under the programme.
However, while presiding over a meeting here on Monday to review the progress of implementation of the NRHM in Gulbarga district, Mr. Islam expressed his satisfaction over the district’s ranking of 15 in the State, pertaining to the implementation of the NRHM. He said that officials should strive to improve the rank to 12 in the next 100 days and gradually increase it to single digit.
District Health and Family Welfare Officer Shivaraj Sajjanshetty, who made a presentation about the implementation of the NRHM in the district, said there was a marked improvement in institutional deliveries. From a mere 33.28 per cent in 2006-07 it had gone up to 97.7 per cent in 2013-14, after the implementation of the NRHM.
Dr. Sajjanshetty added that the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) had come down from 34.9 per 1,000 live births in 2006-07 to 17 per 1,000 live births in 2013-14. However, the Maternal Mortality Rate remained more or less the same even after the implementation of the NRHM.
Mr. Islam, while appreciating the efforts to bring down the IMR and increasing the number of institutional births, said the Health Department officials should redouble their efforts to bring down the MMR.
Dr. Sajjanshetty said that to further improve the number of institutional deliveries under the NRHM, four private hospitals have been empanelled in Gulbarga district to deliver children belonging to BPL, SC and ST families for free. The government would pay Rs. 3,000 to these hospitals for every delivery, he said.
Dr. Sajjanshetty said the district had demanded introduction of 28 ambulances under the 108 ambulance service. The government had provided only 22 ambulances. To meet the increasing demand, Dr. Sajjanshetty said the zilla panchayat had released an additional Rs. 50 lakh from the Backward Region Grant Fund (BRGF) to purchase an additional five ambulances.
To a query from the Minister, the official said that 136 private hospitals had been empanelled under the Vajpayee ArogyaShri programme, including seven hospitals in Andhra Pradesh.
To another question from the Minister on news reports about the higher number of newborn deaths in July this year, Dr. Sajjanshetty said there was no increase and that the IMR rate remained low in July also.