In a bid to check neonatal deaths, Sadar Hospital in Ranchi will soon have a dedicated Sick Newborn Care Unit (SNCU) for addressing emergency cases of infants born with life-threatening conditions, doctors actively involved in setting up the unit said on Sunday.
The construction work is in progress at the hospital and the unit is likely to be inaugurated by the first week of September, Ranchi’s Civil Surgeon Dr. VB Prasad said. Prasad, who has been given the responsibility of monitoring all the works related to the SNCU, said that the unit will initially have 12 beds and modern equipment for treating and saving lives of newborns.
“Patients in the unit will be given special attention. Doctors will be available in the unit 24x7, and the logistics here will be superior,” Prasad added.
The hospital, in the heart of the city, currently has 200 beds and infrastructure for 300 more beds is under construction. Out of the existing 200 beds, 150 are for maternity ward and remaining 50 for pediatrics. At the time of its inauguration, the Government decided to exclusively treat pregnant women and newborns in the facility.
The hospital already has dedicated Medicine Outdoor Patient Department (OPD), Physiotherapy unit, child care OPD, Inpatient Department (IPD) and Intensive Care Unit (ICU), female care OPD, IPD and ICU, labour room and nutrition unit. “Neonatal deaths are a major concern in Jharkhand. The facility will be of great help in averting such deaths,” said Prasad.
The Sample Registration System (SRS) survey of 2017 revealed that the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) in Jharkhand was 29 deaths per 1000 live births.
The figures, released earlier this year, puts Jharkhand among the worst 10 states in terms of neonatal deaths. The figures, however, have improved compared to 2015-2016, when the IMR in Jharkhand was 44 deaths every 1000 live births.The SNCU will also have trained nurses and expert doctors, especially qualified in treating new born infants, said Prasad.
He added that the hospital will soon start recruiting doctors and other staff only for the SNCU. “At least one doctor has to be present in the SNCU at any given time in a day. Doctors and nurses will be recruited for the unit,” he said.
Sources said that many SNCUs opened at district hospitals in several parts of the country had to shut down in absence of qualified doctors and nurses, therefore, the State was focusing on roping in the best hands for running this unit.