Express news service
BALLARI: The undivided district of Ballari has reported the deaths of 358 newborns in eight months, raising concerns for the state government. The Vijayanagara Institute of Medical Science (VIMS) alone recorded 293 neonatal deaths and six newborn deaths in a single day.
Officials, however, maintained that this was the normal infant mortality rate (IMR) and that there had been no increase in the number from last year. “Between April 2020 and November 2021, 358 neonatal deaths were reported in the undivided district of Ballari.
Among 358, 293 deaths were at VIMS and the remaining 65 were in the new district of Vijayanagara. Multiple reasons, including underweight, baby and maternal illnesses, are the leading cause of death, ”said a VIMS official.
Karnataka reports an average of 24 deaths per 1,000 babies, while in the undivided district of Ballari it is less than 12. Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar said malnutrition is the main reason the increase in the number of deaths.
“Worrisome newborn deaths”
However, Minister of Women’s and Children’s Development Halappa Achar disagreed with Sudhakar’s statement. Sudhakar said the high number of neonatal deaths in Ballari district is cause for concern and the government is in talks with the Ministry of Women’s and Children’s Development. “In Raichur, Bidar, Kalaburagi, Vijayanagara and Ballari, mothers and babies face malnutrition, which is a serious problem.
Our government’s goal is to solve the problem of malnutrition during pregnancy. We need more care, ”he added. Achar said the IMR in Undivided Ballari was shocking. “I am not a doctor and I do not know the technical reasons for the deaths. But the whole state receives the same nutritional kits. A state-level meeting will be held soon in this regard, ”he added.