Mr. O.P. Soni, Deputy Chief Minister Punjab, who also holds the charge of Health and Family Welfare department, today chaired an event to launch the National Newborn Week 2021, being observed from 15th through 21st November to reinforce the importance of newborn health as a key priority area of the health sector and to reiterate the commitment at the highest level. The theme of National Newborn Week this year is ‘Safety, Quality and Nurturing Care: Birth Right of New Born' at every health facility and everywhere.Elaborating on the achievements of Punjab in new born care Mr. Soni said that Punjab's infant mortality rate is 19 per 1000 live births which is considerably better than national rate which is at 31.Although there is a reduction in the statistics, but still one single death is a tragedy for the entire family. He added the vision of the Punjab Government is that “every child should survive, thrive, and reach their full potential”. He added that the Government is committed to work towards the health and development of all newborns. “We are attentive to even the minute causes that hamper the development and birth of the newborn”.
Mr. Soni launched Sohum device to screen neonates for hearing impairment with high sensitivity and specificity which is specially designed for mass screening of neonates. Multimodal Pulse Oximeter was also launched to detect Pneumonia in newborn children as Pneumonia is the second major cause of deaths in newborns after Diarrhoea. This also marks the launch of SAANS campaign from 12 November world Pneumonia day to 28 th February in which intensive activities will be undertaken for Screening of Pneumonia among newborns and All children below 5years of age at All Health facilities .He also stressed on the need of awareness amongst general public especially pregnant ladies regarding mother and child care so that newborn deaths can be prevented.Director Health and Family Welfare Dr. Andesh disclosed that in order to provide quality health care to all the newborns, checking of SNCU (sick newborn care unit) and NBSU (newborn stabilization unit) would be carried out by the state teams and KMC chairs would be provided by the Punjab government to provide kangaroo mother care. Director Health Services Dr. O.P.Gojra, Civil Surgeon Mohali Dr. Adarshpal Kaur, Program Officer MCH Dr. Inderdeep Kaur,Program Officer RBSK Dr. Sukhdeep Kaur,State Mass Media Officer Parminder Singh were present on the occasion.