The State Government has implemented several schemes to assist women prenatal, post-natal and newborn infants. Yet, 11,212 infants have died between 2016 April and 2017 April reported Kannada Prabha.

According to the statistics provided by the Health Department 2360 infants have died soon after birth. 2299 infants died within 2 or 3 days of birth. 1,468 infants died between 4 and 7 days. 3235 infants died between 29 to 1 year.  Belagavi tops the list with highest number of infant mortality at 1049.  Mal nourishment, premature delivery and low birth- weight, breathing problems and congenital problems are listed as the main cause for death.

The number of children being born with low birth rate is increasing. Mal nourishment is also a major issue. Between 2016 April to 2017 April 97, 461 infants were born with birth weight lower than 2.5 kg. In Belagavi 18.38 per cent of infants numbering 14,382 were born with low birth weight, which is the highest. In Bengaluru of the 1,14,489 infants born, 9,078 were found to have less than 2.5 birth weight.  In Koppala 15 per cent, in Kolar 13.99, in Bagalakote 12.10 and in Bengaluru Rural 11 per cent infants were born with low birth weight.

The causes for mortality are infants born with less than 1 kg birth weight, breathing problem, born with congenital problems, infection, diarrhea and premature birth.  All these are natural causes of death and not due to negligence by the doctor said Dr Shalini Rajneesh, Chief Secretary, Health Department.

The State Government has implemented several programs to prevent infant mortality.  Pregnant women are given Folic Acid tablets for 3 months before delivery and 14 weeks after delivery to prevent anemia. In cases of acute anemia. daily twice tablets are given. It has been made mandatory to go for check up 4 times during pregnancy.  Yet, infant mortality is  a recurring problem, giving rise to suspect if the schemes are reaching the target beneficiaries.

Jajani Suraksha Yojane, Tayi Bhagya are the 2 successful schemes implemented by the State Government.  However, it has been noticed that the beneficiaries for Tayi Bhagya is declining by the year.

The major cause of women dying at childbirth has reduced considerably compared to olden times.  Of one lakh women who go into labour 133 die. Child marriage, mal nourishment, lack of expert midwives and medical help are the causes of death in delivery. There are 23.2 per cent women who are aged 20 to 24 who were married before the age of 18.  There are no toilets in 57.8 percent of houses in the State causing diarrhea, which has a negative effect on pregnant women.  The State Government has failed in providing water, toilet and cleanliness. The State Government has issued in its statement that only 89.3 per cent houses alone are provided with drinking water.  UNICEF report says all these factors affect the health of both infant and mother.

The cause of the death of 35 infants in Kolar district hospital is the lack of ventilators and malnutrition according to State Prevention of Atrocities on Women and Children Committee.  Committee chairman V S Ugrappa has said that the State Government will be advised to provide necessary ventilators and take appropriate steps.  Speaking at a press meet on Thursday he said the total number of infants born in Kolar between Jan 2017 to July 2017 is 12577.  Out of them 175 infants have died. In a time period of 2 to 3 days 30 infants died. From Jan 2017 1045 women were admitted into the government hospital and 90 of them lost their babies.

The BJP sent a Fact Finding Team to the Kolar district hospital headed by Suresh Kumar, which inspected the facilities at the hospital. Suresh Kumar said it is not becoming of the Health Minister to have so many infants dead in his home constituency.  He advised that care should be taken to work honestly and not give opportunity to repeat the tragedy.  He expressed shock at absence of ventilator at the hospital and urged the government to provide all necessary instruments to the hospital.  The usual Caesarean cases are 25 per cent but in Kolar hospital it is 55 per cent he observed.