The Bihar Post

Bihar launches initiative to bring down neonatal mortality rate

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PATNA—The Bihar health department has launched a unique initiative to bring the neonatal mortality rate down in the state.

Under part of this initiative, the Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) workers will visit homes and take care of infants in the age-group of 3 to 15 months.

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Bihar health minister Mangal Pandey said the visiting health workers would keep an eye on breastfeeding, immunization, hygiene, complementary feeding, anemia and dietary diversity among young children during home visits.

They would also identify possible health complications in young children and give appropriate advice to parents for their proper upkeep.

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Right now, the programme nicknamed Home-Based Care of Young Child (HBYC) has been launched in 13 districts of Bihar. The districts include- Katihar, Nawada, Sheikhpura, Muzaffarpur, Purnia, Begusarai, Jamui, Aurangabad, Gaya, Sitamarhi, Banka, Khagaria and Araria.

The health department has also announced to launch the programme in the remaining 25 districts soon. Officials said under this programme, the ASHA workers would be visiting the house of such children at least five times and monitor their health.

The government hopes the implementation of this programme will improve the health of the children and eventually bring down the child mortality rate in the state.

The neonatal mortality rate of Bihar which was 28 in the year 2017 has come down to 25 in the year 2018, according to a report of the health department.

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