9m infants die every year worldwide

KARACHI - Good health represents a crucial quality of life that Pakistanis must possess in order to build a prosperous nation. Addressing a two-day convention titled, 'Policy Seminar: Scaling up MNCH-FP Best Practices in Pakistan, Stephen Fakan, US Consul in Karachi, said in order to meet the 2015 developmental goals child mortality and healthcare issues must be the subject of a lively debate and since 2006-2007 less progress has been made in aforementioned subject. Nayyar Agha, federal minister for population, said, At the Ministry of Population we are all set to meet various challenges being faced by an expectant mother, along with the help of the Ministry of Health. According to data collected there would have been many more maternal deaths due to non-practice of family planning. Robust family planning approach has resulted in a stronger family unit in Pakistan. In Pakistan, 1 in 23 Pakistani women dies during childbirth, compared to 1 to 5,000 women in developed countries. One of the main causes of high maternal death rate is lack of skilled attendants during childbirth. As many as 65 per cent of women deliver their babies at home, out of which only 8 per cent are supervised by a skilled attendant. Speakers at the seminar likewise Dr Nabila Ali said, There are 900 public health hospitals all over the country but the people do not visit them frequently, with only 20 per cent of the patients are coming for proper treatment. Balochistan stands at the highest mortality rate. Furthering her statement she said there was a strong need for revising our thoughts, integrated maternal-child health issues with safety nets, reduces mortality and established private-public partnership that would help in coping up with the problem. Dr Zulfiqar Bhutta said there were 9 million deaths of infants worldwide of which the strongest hit were the children residing in Sub-Sahara Africa and South Asia. Three million children in South Asia die on yearly basis and Pakistan is among the largest countries which face these deaths. Major causes of these deaths of newborns are no doubt poverty-related issues likewise breaking the patriarchal issue of deciding weather the baby must be born at home or at the hospital, still is not decided by the mother or the grandmother of the newborn, she added. One in 10 children born in Pakistan will not be able to survive their first five years. The majority of these deaths are the result of preventable and curable illnesses. Throughout, the country water and sanitation-related diseases are responsible for 60 per cent of child deaths. The first day of the meeting was concluded by the signing of the Karachi Declaration; that will ensure the inclusion of best practices in health and population service delivery.

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