KARACHI, Feb 4: A workshop on “Essential Newborn Care” jointly organised by Save the Children and the Sindh Women Health Project on Tuesday stressed the need to make women aware of the threat to their health and that of their children because of ignorance and negligence.

The 10-day workshop was held at the paediatrics department of the Civil Hospital. The workshop which concluded on Tuesday was organized for dermatologists, endocrinologists, paediatrician etc posted in remote parts of Sindh and Balochistan.

The participants were told that approximately 32 million local women fell in the reproductive age group (15 to 49 years), and that 30 of them died every minute due to childbirth complications. This was besides the fact that neonatal mortality rate in Pakistan came to around 48.9 per cent.

Neonatal mortality was attributed mainly to bacterial infections, neonatal tetanus, birth trauma and birth asphyxia, which were further identified to be consequent to the fact that 80 per cent deliveries are performed at homes with little consideration to hygiene and proper safety measures. Poor health status of mothers was also cited as a major cause leading to high rate of deaths among neonates.

it was felt necessary to start programmes on realistic grounds for health-care providers.

Dr Najma Ansari, Director Women Health Project for Sindh, distributed certificates among workshop participants. She said the Health Project for Women, launched with the assistance of the Asian Development Bank, aimed to revitalize the standards of the service being provided both in preventive and curative sectors.

She said four districts in the province including Shikarpur, Naushero Feroze, Mirpurkhas, with particular emphasis on Umerkot and Badin, had been identified under the project to be developed as women-friendly districts.

Prof D.S. Akram, In charge paediatrics department CHK, said four such workshops would be held at the department with regular intervals, and those trained would in turn train doctors at the district level.

Dr Masood Ahmed Abbasi, Provincial Liaison Coordinator Sindh for Save the Children, said the world lost about four million babies every year as stillbirths.—APP

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