Balochistan Launches a Program to Reduce Maternal & Infant Deaths

Balochistan government has launched the ‘Newborn Survival Strategy’ aimed at reducing maternal and neonatal mortality rates in the province.

Humanitarian organizations like the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and Mother, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) have collectively designed the five-year program with the provincial government.

Poor healthcare facilities result in the deaths of hundreds of women and infants from easily preventable medical conditions each year in the mineral-rich province.

According to Dr. Ismail Mirwani, provincial coordinator of MNCH, maternal and infant health indicators in Balochistan are the worst in the country. Each year, 785 women out of 100,000 lose their lives due to complications during pregnancy and delivery. Neonatal mortality rate-when an infant dies within the first 28 days- stands at 34 out 1000 while infant mortality rate-deaths within the first year- is 66 out of 1000.

MPA Balochistan Assembly, Shakeela Naveed Dehwar, said:

The provincial health department deserves credit for Newborn Survival Strategy. The program will prove to be effective in bringing down the high maternal mortality rates in Balochistan.

Secretary Health Balochistan, Mudassir Waheed Malik, said:

The Balochistan government will remain strongly committed to improving the health of the population. Women, newborns, and children under 5 will receive special attention through this program.

UNICEF’s representative for Pakistan, Aida Girma, termed the deaths of women and newborns due to preventable complications as unacceptable.

Aida Girma added:

I am very pleased that UNICEF has contributed to the program’s development in order to help save precious newborn lives. It is the right of every newborn to survive and be in the arms of their mothers.