Monday February 19, 2018

Andaman and Nicobar reports lowest infant mortality rate

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New Delhi: A data released by the National Family Health Survey (NFHS 4) this week, stated that the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a union territory, reported India’s lowest infant mortality rate (deaths per 1,000 live births) and under-five mortality rate (deaths per 1,000 children) among 13 states and two union territories.

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a union territory, reported India’s lowest infant mortality rate (deaths per 1,000 live births) and under-five mortality rate (deaths per 1,000 children) among 13 states and two union territories for which data was released this week.

Madhya Pradesh (MP) reported the highest infant mortality rate (IMR) as well as under-five mortality rate (u5MR) with 51 and 65, respectively, according to data published by the health ministry, as per the National Family Health Survey 4 (NFHS 4), a nationwide health census, the last data for which was released in 2005-06.

Over this decade, rising female literacy, later marriages, the ability to take financial decisions, better healthcare, cooking facilities and water supply are among the reasons why Indian mothers and children are living longer, according to data from the 13 states and two union territories.

But some afflictions have seen limited progress, such as anaemia, reported in half the children in 10 states and more than half the women in 11 states. Overall, progress is uneven across India, the data shows.

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands have an infant mortality rate of 10, better than Brazil (15), the same as China and Bulgaria, according to World Health Organisation data, and better than a host of countries with higher per capita incomes. In contrast, MP’s infant mortality rate is worse than some of the world’s poorest countries, such as Gambia and Ethiopia.

Data for union territories and the newly minted one-and-a-half-year-old state of Telangana has been featured for the first time in the NFHS.

Crucial data is missing for some of India’s most backwards states requiring special healthcare intervention by the central government – officially called empowered action group (EAG) states – including Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

Almost all the 13 states and two union territories have seen a decline in infant mortality rates and under-five mortality rates. The highest fall in IMR was seen in Tripura – from 51 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2005-06 to 27 in NFHS 4 (2015-16).

The highest fall in under-five mortality was seen in West Bengal – from 59 to 32 over the same period.

The direct reasons for improvement are better maternal and child health practices such as more breastfeeding, births in healthcare institutions (instead of at home), improved vaccination and the use of diarrhoea medication. The indirect reasons include rising female literacy, later marriages, better cooking facilities such as gas thus reducing health risks from wood or coal-fired stoves and financial inclusion.

The states that have seen improvements in IMR and U5MR clearly improved their child health indicators. Tripura, which saw the highest decline in IMR, has also seen a decline in the prevalence of diarrhoea, from 8.4 percent in 2005-06 to 4.9 percent in 2015-16, and an increase in fully immunised children from 49.7 percent to 57.7 percent.

West Bengal, which has seen the second highest reduction in IMR and the highest decline in U5MR, has been able to achieve these through increased availability of oral rehydration solution (ORS) for children suffering from diarrhoea (42.6 percent to 64.7 percent) and improving immunisation from 64.3 percent to 84.4 percent of children.

Karnataka saw a decline in IMR from 43 in 2005-06 to 28 in 2015-16 and decline in U5MR from 54 to 32. The state saw an increase in consumption of iron tablets by mothers from 28.2 percent to 45.3 percent.

The state also saw an increase in the percentage of mothers who received full ante-natal care from 24.8 percent to 32.9 percent and an increase in institutional births from 64.7 percent to 94.3 percent showing a direct correlation between improvement in maternal health and reduction in child mortality.

The correlation between sanitation and IMR numbers is well documented. Tripura and West Bengal have seen improvements in sanitation facilities, which have resulted in decreased IMR figures across these states. West Bengal has seen an increase in the percentage of households with improved sanitation facilities from 34.7 percent to 50.9 percent.

Female empowerment through literacy and financial inclusion has also helped in reducing infant and maternal mortality. The education of mothers and their ability to make decisions affects infant and child mortality, according to this study published by the UK-based Institute of Development Studies (IDS). This is evident in West Bengal, where female literacy rates rose from 58.8 percent to 71 percent, alongside declines in both IMR and U5MR.

Similarly, Tripura’s female literacy rose from 68.5 percent to 80.4 percent and Karnataka’s from 59.7 percent to 71.7 percent.

Women in the three states also reported increased participation in household decisions. For example, in Karnataka, female participation increased from 68.6 percent to 80.4 percent. One of the reasons for the improvement of the status of women can also be attributed to their ability to spend their own income. This has been achieved through financial inclusion, which has led to many having their own bank account, the IDS study said.(IANS) (picture courtesy: aif.org)

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Tips That Will Help In Recovery From Surgery

The instructions given are not to torment you and the risks explained are not to scare you

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Doctor performing a surgery. Pixabay
  • Recovery from surgeries can be tough
  • There is a lot of care that one needs after a surgery
  • There are some certain ways of taking care after surgery which are more effective than the others

Have you recently gone through the unpleasant but necessary process of Surgery? Are you one of those went through the painful process of being under the knife multiple times? It is definitely a process that no matter how many times you are explained of the benefits, the possibility of the risks during and after the process dances before your eyes, more than the benefits.

It is important to get involved in one's own healthcare. Samecondition
It is important to get involved in one’s own healthcare. Samecondition

Even though the period starting from the pre-operative to the recovery phase is specified and measurable in most of the cases, it might still seem like an indefinite period of suffering. Even though the patient is supported by the love and care of his dear ones and the healthcare providers, the agony of the process in its entirety is borne and understood by only by the patient.

Of course, the anxiety of the procedure is shared by even those within the medical field, who understand and can anticipate it well in advance. Your pain is your own. And it does not spare anyone.

But like Gautam Buddha quoted, ‘Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional’. One option is to prepare yourself to go through the pain, but it is wiser to follow some simple rules to free yourself from enduring the moments of agony and confusion.

Preoperative Care
Most of us spend every waking moment of the pre-operative period wondering the consequences of the surgery, be it a complicated procedure or a simple one. Every hospital has its own protocol for educating the patients about the procedure. Some of the medical staff explain them personally while some send written instructions. There are some others who are much more cautious and do both. But, not in all cases, the information is imbibed in the patients to the fullest. It is lost in the web of anxiety spun within the patient’s mind.

ALso Read: How weight-loss surgery can avoid death

Even with all the efforts taken by your healthcare provider, if the purpose of the mission is lost, it is unfair to blame anyone. But, there is a way to avoid the situation. If the surgery is a pre-planned procedure, always approach your consultant, well in advance, before the day of the surgery, to clear your mind of some of those doubts that have clouded your ability to stay untroubled. Do not willingly withhold any medical history, known to you, about you. It is for the safety and well-being of the provider as well your own self. Make sure you arrive at the hospital early to complete your paperwork and do not procrastinate in this regard. The hassles of filling up the paperwork can amplify your stress levels. Do not ignore any symptom that you might have before the procedure. In your estimation, it might only be a slight fever or a rash, but for the success of the surgery, it is a huge detrimental factor. Report to your consultant immediately.

You might now be wondering that these might sound good enough for a preplanned, non-emergent surgery, but what about the emergency surgeries. As a member of the medical fraternity, I would suggest you stay calm and trust your provider. If you are still strong enough to converse, do ask and clear yourself of any doubts and hesitations regarding the procedure about to be performed. The community always holds the best interests for their patients.

Pre-operative care is one of the most important things to be taken care of. Pixabay
Pre-operative care is one of the most important things to be taken care of. Pixabay

Postoperative care
Once the procedure is completed, then comes the phase of post-operative recovery. All is well that ends well and that end is not signaled at the end of the surgery but only after the successful sailing through the post-operative period. The period of post-operative care does not end with your stay at the hospital but continues well after your discharge. Although every effort is made by your provider, there might still be pain, once the anesthesia starts to wear off. The reactions of the human body to the medications is not always universal. Every patient requires a certain level of customization of care, due to the very fact that no one person is entirely like another. Their threshold levels do differ. It is hence safer to assume that you might not have the same symptoms as your neighbors.

Also Read: Eating Yogurt May Reduce Risk Of Heart Diseases

Most of the procedures, do require a certain amount of effort to be invested, also by the patients in the post-operative period. It might be as simple as being cent percent complaint to the consumption of medications or performing the stipulated exercises in physiotherapy. Never fail to follow your Doctor’s instructions to the dot. Deviations can well cost you much more than you can recognize. Appropriate and “advised” postoperative care, is the only way you can make a complete and satisfying recovery.

It is important to take care after surgery. Wikimedia Commons
It is important to take care after surgery. Wikimedia Commons

There are some who take multiple consultations. It is alright to double check, cross-check with other consultants, but before the procedure. It is advisable to follow the instructions of your consultant after the procedure, to avoid confusions. Remember, you always receive some degree of tailored care. Your consultant knows more about what has been done. If in doubt, always report back to your consultant.

You have the right to enjoy good health. It does not matter if the right is entitled via your constitution or not. And the right can be made a reality partly by the effort of your healthcare provider and partly by you. The instructions given are not to torment you and the risks explained are not to scare you. If in doubt, always approach your Physician. Never leave aside those nagging doubts “for later”. It is wise to take an informed decision and to accomplish that, the ideal behavior as a patient would be to engage with your Physician in your treatment.