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Singapore-India collaboration for better maternal, child health services

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To enable doctors and staff nurses in the State-run hospitals to handle high-risk pregnancies, obstetric and neonatal emergencies better, the State Institute of Health and Family Welfare (SIHFW) has collaborated with the Singapore International Foundation (SIF).

Under the collaboration, a three-year pilot project on ‘Enhancing Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Services’ has been taken up in association with Singapore Health Services (SingHealth).child-health-services

The project is based on findings from a study of services in nine government hospitals last year that revealed some areas of possible upgrading of knowledge and clinical skills.

Speaking after launching the project in the Vikasa Soudha on Monday, Principal Secretary (Health and Family Welfare) Shalini Rajneesh said reducing MMR (maternal mortality rate) and IMR (infant mortality rate) in Karnataka are a top priority for the department.

Although considerable progress has been made in reducing MMR and IMR, the State now aims to achieve a single-digit rate for IMR (that stands at 28 per 1,000 live births) and below 100 for MMR (that stands at 133 per 1 lakh live births).

The three-year multi-track project is designed to share knowledge and enhance the capacity of healthcare workers in managing high-risk pregnancies, and obstetric and neonatal emergencies so as to reduce infant and maternal mortality and morbidity. Carried out in partnership with the local government hospitals, the project will create quality care and health services for pregnant women and babies in Karnataka, said A.R. Aruna, SIHFW director.

An estimated one lakh pregnant women and their newborns are expected to benefit from this project, Dr. Aruna said.

Starting Monday and over the next three years, 200 healthcare professionals from government hospitals in Karnataka will be trained by obstetricians, neonatologists, midwives and senior nurses from Singapore General Hospital (SGH), SingHealth’s tertiary hospital.

At the end of the training, 40 master trainers go for a study trip to Singapore. Later, these trainers will continue the training in other hospitals, she said.

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