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Minister says low birth weight key cause of children’s deaths in Thar

KARACHI: Provincial Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho has said that low birth weight is one of the major causes of the deaths of children in Thar as around half of the children die within one month of their birth.

“Around 50 per cent children die in Thar within one month of their birth and the leading causes of children’s deaths are low birth weight, septicaemia and birth asphyxia or deprivation of oxygen at the time of birth,” the minister said while addressing a press conference.

The provincial health ministry was dealing with those conditions by setting up more health facilities closer to homes of the people in Thar, the minister assured.

The provision of cash to pregnant women is another step of the plan to enable them to reach health facilities, Pechuho said. She added that food packages would also be given to pregnant women.

The government would establish 80 more dispensaries in the desert district, where trained community midwives and lady health workers will be posted to help pregnant women in having better reproductive health, Dr Pechuho said.

The Sindh government and the health department had nothing to do with the federal government’s plans regarding Thar region, the minister said. She said the Sindh government has been working to improve social, economic and health conditions in Thar for many years and the same would continue in future as well.

Moreover, the minister added that the ongoing measles campaign was successful in Sindh at large but admitted to certain issues in Karachi’s areas of Korangi, New Karachi etc. However, she was confident that these issues would be handled in the coming five days of the campaign.

She applauded the authorities concerned for achieving close to 100 per cent targets in the campaign in the rest of Sindh.

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