Six newborns die in 1 month in Krishnagiri villages

The infant deaths are mainly due to the rampant practice of child marriages.

Krishnagiri: At least six newborn babies, given birth to by teenaged girls and victims of child marriage, have died because of low birth weight in Denkanikottai taluk in Krishnagiri in the last one month, sending shock waves among the voluntary health workers.

While two babies died at the Dharmapuri government hospital and one newborn at a private hospital in neighbouring Bengaluru, the remaining three infants died without treatment at home.

The backward western districts of Tamil Nadu, especially Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri, have recorded a marginal increase in underweight children, according to the latest data released by the Union health ministry. The district health officials denied the death of the six newborns but a visit to the Denkannikottai villages confirmed the infant mortality.

Barely 16, R. Sowmiya of Erumathampalli village, delivered a girl baby with low birth weight last month. The baby weighing just 1.7kgs died on December 22, 2015 in the CEMONC center in the Dharmapuri government medical college and hospital.

Another teenaged mother, P. Sampangi of Gudiyur village, gave birth to a baby boy. Her family was elated at the arrival of her son. But the joy was short-lived and so was her child. Nineteen year old K.Saroja of Gudiyur village also gave birth to a pre-term baby. But the baby died within a few days.

In Doddur village, the girl baby of V. Gowri, 26, died. She is yet another victim of child marriage as she was forced to become a bride at the age of 14. The mother of two girls and a boy, she delivered the fourth baby weighing below 2.3 kilos. The baby died in just 25 days at Anchetti PHC.

On October 2, 2015, another victim of child marriage, V. Puttarajamma of Athinatham village in Anchetti union, gave birth to her second child, a male baby with normal weight (2.6 kilos). But the infant died on December 8, 2015 in a private hospital in Bengaluru because of a severe breathing problem.

“How can the State government claim that infant deaths have reduced when Union ministry data show marginal increase in the birth of underweight babies in the western districts of Tamil Nadu?” asks an active social worker of Denkannikottai taluk.

The infant deaths are mainly due to the rampant practice of child marriages prevailing in Krishnagiri district and woeful lack of maternal health care. Many poverty-ridden teenaged mothers have no access to nutritious food and other doles, because they are not eligible for the benefits as they are minors.

However, deputy director of health for Krish nagiri, T.A.Deva Partha sarathi, claimed that Tamil Nadu had made great strides in reducing infant mortality.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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