LAHORE - Adviser to Chief Minister on Health Kh Salman Rafiq has claimed that labour rooms of 550 basic health units will be working round the clock by April 2015.

“Presently, 24-hour labour room facility is available at 150 units, that has greatly decreased mother and child mortality rate,” the adviser said while chairing a meeting held on Saturday to review progress of Integrated Reproductive, Mother, Neonatal and Child Health Programme (IRMNCH).

Health Director General Dr Zahid Pervaiz, IRMNCH Additional DG Dr Ijaz Sheikh and other officers also attended the meeting. The Health DG said that breastfeeding for two years could reduce infant mortality rate. “Reasonable birth spacing can reduce maternal mortality rate. Early age marriages also endanger the lives of mother and child,” he added.

Dr Ijaz Sheikh briefed about the achievements and way forward of the programme.

He said that solid steps had been taken to control maternal and child mortality up to the age of five years. Moreover, the number of Skilled Birth Attendants as well as their coverage area has also been enhanced, he added.

“Under MDGs of 2015, targets have been fixed to overcome the malnutrition in children and pregnant women, to reduce deficiency of iron in mothers and improve underweight and stinting ratio of children,” he further said.

Under IRMNCH programme, 14800 Lady Health Workers have been trained and this process was continuing at district level.

He said that 34000 LHWs would be trained by the end of 2015. Also, Safe Delivery Kits (SDKs) were being provided to community midwives to prevent the mother and neonate from various infections at the time of delivery.