*Representational image credit srloveandcare.org

Strengthening the health infrastructure is one of the prime objectives of the government. In a bid to realise this goal, the state government is setting up Special Newborn Care Units (SNCUs) across districts. 

These units will play a crucial role in bringing down the Child Mortality Rate in the state. At present, the districts of Chaibasa, Gumla, Jamshedpur, Ramgarh and Saraikela have operational SNCUs, they are playing a vital role in treating urgent cases wherein newborn babies suffer from life-threatening diseases.

As per the norms of National Health Mission, every district hospital which delivers over 3000 infants is required to have a SNCU facility. These units which are set up at the district hospitals have all the necessary resources required to provide secondary care to newborn infants up till 29 days after their birth.

Modern Facilities in District Hospitals Secure the Health of Newborns

In Jharkhand, the lack of regular check-ups is often the cause of health issues in newborns. This results in a number of diseases in newborns, such as low birth weight, perinatal asphyxia, gasping by the newborn, severe jaundice, Hypothermia, cold shock, Coma, Convulsions, diarrhoea, bleeding or some major malformation. 

The SNCUs will be instrumental in protecting newborns against all concerning health issues and regular check-ups will be ensured.

To address the health-related issues, SNCUs are equipped with modern and advanced medical equipment along with an ICU facility for neonatal procedures. Specialized Medical officers are appointed to take care of the patients admitted in SNCUs. Apart from this, a paediatrician, trained nurses, and a counsellor are also appointed to the unit.

District Government Hospitals at par with Private Hospitals

In a state like Jharkhand where a considerable margin of the population is a daily wage earner, accessing modern health services in private hospitals meant complete loss of livelihood for them. 

With the SNCUs being set-up in the government district hospitals, things are changing and newborns are increasingly seeing the light of the day.

A senior doctor who worked on setting-up one of the SNCUs said, “neonatal deaths are a major concern in Jharkhand. The facility is of great help in averting such deaths, especially the vulnerable and economically weaker population which majorly relies upon the government health facility. 

The SNCU is established in a manner that almost every modern medical facility is available in the unit. The sick newborns now need not be referred to any private health facility in case of emergency. Our hospitals are now well equipped to cater to such cases. Patients in the unit are given special attention. Doctors are available in the unit 24x7 and the logistics here are of superior quality.”

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