More funds demanded for preventive side of healthcare

September 21, 2014 Off By Web Desk

KARACHI: Provincial Manager, Save the Children Iqbal Detho on Monday said breastfeeding is a complete nourishment for newborns and infants and breastfeeding should be administrated to every child till first two years as to reduce the mortality rate in Sindh, as well as , in Pakistan.

He expressed theses views while addressing a two-day workshop on topic “Journalism-Health Policy- Everyone”, jointly organized by Mishal and Save the Children “Every One” at local hotel.

Mubashir Zaidi, Sana Ahmed and Sajjad Haider were also present on this occasion.

Iqbal Detho said Pakistan lagged behind to achieve United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals (MGD) 2015 to decrease infant’s mortality from 87 to 50 per 1000 children. He said most deaths were associated with inappropriate breastfeeding practices. He said mortality rate in countries like Bangladesh and Nepal were under 50 per 1000 but our country is yet to achieve this target.

He said lack of skilled staff and inappropriate training of employees at institutional level was the major reason behind the non-implementation of programs and failure to get the targets. He said 80 percent of provincial health budget is spent for curing various diseases and only 20 percent on preventive strategies.

He said d developed countries spent majority of their healthcare budget on preventive strategies and planning, while 20 to 30 percent of it is spent on curative purposes. He said if the provincial and federal governments increase health budget for the preventive strategies it will help to reduce the rising number patients in public healthcare centers.

Detho claimed malnourishment of mothers is also a major reason behind the high mortality rate of infants. “Sixteen percent of newborn deaths could be prevented if breastfeeding is initiated within the first hour after birth,” he opined. He said that infants who are not breastfed are 15 times more likely to die from various diseases in their early years.

He said it was written in Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) manifesto that around 0.21million lady health workers would be recruited across the country to improve maternal and neonatal health. He informed that currently there are 0.1million lady workers in the country. He said Sindh government could not regularize the jobs of 23,000 lady health workers despite the passage of many years.

He informed that vaccination coverage was still 44 percent at national level and authorities concerned should enhance it to 70 percent to reduce to mortality and disabilities among children.

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