By Adnan Aamir, Azaz Syed, Abdul Salam
More children are dying in Balochistan and Punjab than in other provinces of the country.
This startling information has come from a latest report of World Health Organization (WHO) containing the data of Child and Mother Profile titled, “Pakistan: Neonatal and Child Health Profile.”
WHO report, citing the Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey 2012-13 found that 111 children of every 1,000 die in Balochistan before reaching their fifth birthday. Likewise, 105 children out of every 1,000 die in Punjab as compared to 93 in Sindh, 89 in Gilgit-Baltistan, 70 KP and 43 in Islamabad Capital Territory. Balochistan and Punjab are two largest provinces of Pakistan with regard to land and population, respectively.
The data shows that most children die during or immediately after birth across the country. Prematurity at 36 % kills the most babies during the neonatal period. It further says pneumonia is the second biggest killer at 29 % for children who survive their first month of life.
Throughout Pakistan, children living in urban areas are much more likely to survive until their fifth birthday than children in rural areas.
Children of educated mothers are also more likely to survive than those born to uneducated mothers.
According to the report, in Pakistan for population of 10,000 people there are only about 6 nurses and midwives and about 1 community health workers.
The report has also noted the progress of the country towards achieving the millennium development goals with regard to child health care. It analyzed that Pakistan failed to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set for year 2015 with regard to child mortality rates. However, Pakistan was successful in reducing the child deaths, per 1,000 births, from 162 in year 1980 to 92 in year 2010.