At least 254,670 pregnant women were registered in 2015 by the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa health department through the assistance of lady health workers.
Mother , Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) provincial manager Dr Sahib Gul told The Express Tribune more pregnant women have started registering with the department following a series of awareness campaigns and the provincial government’s willingness to provide incentives for them.
“Pregnant women are provided free medicines as well as a Rs300 transport allowance at health facilities across the province,” Gul said. “These benefits extend to every visit under the special incentive for women package announced by the chief minister.” He added maternal deaths and infant mortality rate decreased due to presence of skilled birth attendants.
However, neonatal death rate has not been brought under control due to the absence of experts. “We lack not only experts but also neonatal ICUs in a majority of health facilities,” he said. Gul added neonatal ICUs were functional in Kohat, Swat, Malakand, Haripur and DI Khan under MNCH programme.
Pregnancies and deliveries
As per data available with The Express Tribune cases were registered from across the province with a majority of pregnant women—36,043—belonging to Swat, followed by 33,910 from Mardan, 25,841 from Charsadda and 20,427 from Peshawar. Not a single pregnant woman could be registered from Torghar district.
The data revealed out of 254,670 pregnant women reported by LHWs, 153,090—around 60% of deliveries—were carried out by skilled people at different health facilities in K-P.
Maternal deaths, still births
According to the data, 255 maternal deaths were reported from across K-P with 40 deaths in Mardan, 37 in Abbottabad, 35 in Haripur, 31 in Mardan, 23 in Peshawar and 20 in Mansehra.
Around 2,489 stillbirths were registered with the health department with 513 – the maximum number from Battagram, 413 from Malakand, 151 from Buner and 144 from Kohat.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 2nd, 2016.
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