Pune: Over 3,000 Child Deaths in 6 Years, Pimpri-Chinchwad Struggles to Curb Mortality

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Varad Bhatkhande

Pimpri Chinchwad, 15th April 2024: Over the past year, 602 children aged 0 to 5 have died in Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) hospitals and Private hospitals, with a total of 3,305 child deaths over the past 6 years. Although maternal mortality during pregnancy and childbirth remains low, the high rate of subsequent child deaths is concerning.

PCMC operates 10 hospitals in the city, including major facilities such as Jijamata Hospital, Thergaon Hospital, Akurdi, and Bhosari, along with the Yashwantrao Chavan Memorial (YCM) Hospital in Pimpri. Additionally, the city has eight maternity homes, 28 clinics, and 20 health centres in slum areas. Eight family planning centres and 38 vaccination centres provide medical services to patients. These facilities offer various services and support for maternal and child care, including care for newborns and young children.

With a population of around 3 million, the city also attracts pregnant mothers from other parts of the Pune district seeking advanced treatment at PCMC hospitals. The medical department of PCMC reports a rise in child mortality statistics. In 2022, 488 children died, and this number increased to 602 in 2023, raising concerns among residents and medical professionals.

Implementing integrated child development schemes, addressing maternal malnutrition, and enforcing health initiatives to prevent malnutrition in slums are critical strategies. Additionally, controlling epidemics and communicable diseases, and strengthening the health infrastructure of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) will contribute to reducing child mortality rates. By effectively implementing National Health Initiatives, family welfare programs, and maternal and child care programs, as well as expanding the number of primary health centres, infant mortality can be significantly reduced.

Several factors contribute to infant mortality, including insufficient nutrition during pregnancy leading to low birth weight, as well as infectious diseases, accidents, respiratory diseases, and congenital anomalies in newborns. Children may also succumb to pneumonia or diarrhoea. Additionally, some infants die at birth or due to delayed medical intervention.

Dr. Abhaychandra Dadewar, Additional Health Medical Officer at Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), said, “PCMC is actively working to curb child mortality. Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) have been established at Yashwantrao Chavan Memorial (YCM), Thergaon, Akurdi, Jijamata, and Bhosari hospitals. Each hospital has paediatricians available. Pregnant mothers are enrolled in their first trimester by Asha workers, Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANM), and medical officers. From birth until the child is one year old, check-ups and vaccinations are carried out through periodic home visits. Healthcare workers receive training for this, and municipal health services are continuously improving. Special efforts are made to prevent child mortality.”

Child Mortality Statistics by Year:
– Year: 2018
– 0 to 1 Year: 598 deaths
– 1 to 5 Years: 110 deaths

– Year: 2019
– 0 to 1 Year: 548 deaths
– 1 to 5 Years: 131 deaths

– Year: 2020
– 0 to 1 Year: 305 deaths
– 1 to 5 Years: 137 deaths

– Year: 2021
– 0 to 1 Year: 302 deaths
– 1 to 5 Years: 84 deaths

– Year: 2022
– 0 to 1 Year: 408 deaths
– 1 to 5 Years: 88 deaths

– Year: 2023
– 0 to 1 Year: 510 deaths
– 1 to 5 Years: 92 deaths

– Total:
– 0 to 1 Year: 2,671 deaths
– 1 to 5 Years: 634 deaths