Kolkata, Oct 29 : Over the last eight years, the West Bengal Government, has made a lot of effort to set up sick critical care units, to improve the neonatal healthcare system in Bengal.
Under the leadership of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is also the Health Minister, healthcare department has received a major boost, so much so that now Bangla has the highest number of sick critical care units for infants in India.
Sick newborn care units (SNCU), sick newborn stabilisation units (SNSU), paediatric intensive care units (PICU) and neonatal intensive care units (NICU) all fall under sick critical care units.
Till Trinamool Congress came to power, there were only six SNCUs. Now there are 69 SNCUs functioning, comprising 2,217 beds. Another is coming up at Serampore Walsh Superspeciality Hospital. Then, around 307 SNSUs has been set up at different government hospitals and medical colleges across the State. Additionally, there are around 13 PICUs (two more coming up) and 15 NICUs.
Among other facilities for children is a paediatric nephrology ward at Calcutta Medical College and Hospital, along with four dialysis machines. A huge focus has been placed on immunisation of children across Bangla, as a result of which approximately 100 per cent of children are fully immunised.In order to provide better treatment to the severely malnourished children and to educate their families on nutrition, 51 nutrition rehabilitation centres (NRC) have been set up in various districts in different districts.
All these measures have resulted in the infant mortality rate dropping to 25 (per 1,000 live births), which is much lower than the national average of 34.(UNI)