Implementation of National Maternal Newborn and Child Health Program at District Level in Pakistan

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Screen Shot 2014-03-08 at 3.55.29 PMPakistan has the third highest burden of maternal, fetal and child mortality in the world.  There has been reduction in the infant mortality rate after independence, however the decrease has not been achieved in newborn mortality rate. Maternal mortality rate ranges between 350-400 deaths per 100,000 live births.  Infants and newborn babies die primarily due to treatable and preventable conditions like birth asphyxia, ARI and diarrhea. Hemorrhage, puerperal sepsis, toxemia of pregnancy and obstructed labor are the major causes of maternal deaths. This is mainly due to lack of knowledge and access to proper ANC &PNC with majority of births occurring in the hands of untrained traditional birth attendants.

The National Maternal Newborn & Child Health (MNCH) Program was started in Pakistan in 2007, with support /funding from Federal government, UNICEF, USAID, PAIMAN and DFID. The program was meant to restructure and strengthen existing MNCH system to ensure safe motherhood. However due to variety of factors, the program performance at district level is not found worthy of appreciation. A holistic approach to improve maternal and child health is restricted to very limited districts.  The coverage for various interventions in Pakistan remains sub-optimum, with large urban–rural differences.

There has been lack of commitment on the part of leadership and management especially at district level. The health department failed to keep MNCH program as a priority agenda item by leadership and policy makers. Inter-sectorial coordination, involvement of stakeholders, and functional integration between various vertical and horizontal programs are not up to the mark. No comprehensScreen Shot 2014-03-08 at 7.23.12 PMive advocacy plan and communication strategies are there for community mobilization and organization.

The government should prioritize an effective and efficient implementation of MNCH program at district level. Advocacy plan should be part of district health plan. This will not only ensure safe motherhood but also serve a lot in reducing infant and maternal mortality in line with international commitment under millennium development goals program.

 

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One Response to “Implementation of National Maternal Newborn and Child Health Program at District Level in Pakistan”

  1. ahmadalmalki84 Says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this interesting blogging. Maternity & children health is considered one of the major health obstacles in the developing countries for long time. To ensure the success of any maternity and child health program, government must develop well organized plan and provide good management to decrease the neonatal mortality. Additionally, government needs to provide more financial resources for the national health program of maternity and child care. Moreover, government needs to involve the private health sector widely in health system to provide a complementary role for government lob.

    Although the NGO have been implicated to improve the maternity and children health in Pakistan, ample of hard work needs to be undertaken. The government and NGO have to work together to improve the public awareness about importance of patients follow up during pregnancy(antenatal). Moreover, the education for community is one of real crucial factor to improve the understanding of community for the major health problems.

    Additionally, volunteered doctors and midwives can work through a national campaign to improve the basic clinical skills of primary health care providers. The government has to establish more health care center through the country, this will decrease the load on the major hospitals and increase the access to basic care services. Midwifery schools established in Pakistan every where is a real step for improvement, and Pakistani health care system must consider the critical need for high standard intensives care units all over the country to deal with main conditions affecting on babies.

    Furthermore, the basic hygiene in self, food and applicable water access are simple but important aspects of life, the community must be aware about it. Moreover, government has to warn people about poor hygiene through public media.

    Good leader and distinctive pioneers in maternity health should take the action to meet the millennium developmental goals.

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