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MNCH fails to improve indicators as federal govt delays early release of amount

PESHAWAR: The Maternal Newborn and Child Health (MNCH), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chapter has been confronting problems in improving its indicators after federal government did not release the amount within the stipulated time of six years from 2006 to 2012 according to an official of MNCH- KP.
Dr. Hidyatullah Khan, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer of Maternal Newborn and Child Health (MNCH), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa talking to media said that federal government had approved PC1 of Rs 2770 million for improving and reducing maternal mortality, infant and neonatal related issues in the war torn province. He expressed that only 32 per cent of the allocated budget was provided out of the total of Rs 2770 million.
The project was initiated in 2006 by the federal government and it was scheduled to end in 2012 but because of unknown reasons, the said program was extended to the year 2018, he explained.
After a while, the MNCH, KP was asked by central government to submit revised PC1 of the remaining 68 per cent budget till June, 2015, he added. Dr Hidayatullah further informed that 68 per cent of amount was released till 2015 out of the revised PC1 and the remaining amount would be dispersed by 2018.
Mr Khan went on to state that the federal government was yet to disperse Rs 862 million after submission of revised PC1 and added that the government prolonged the project till 2018 which multiplied their miseries. He expressed his concern and said that no increments have been made in the budget for MNCH, KP which is a matter of great concern for the program.
Often the employees of MNCH are not paid salaries for as much as three months which severely hinders the overall operations, he deplored.
To a query regarding the improvement of indicators, he mentioned that without monetary resources, the indicators could not be improved as expected and planned.
Provincial Manager of MNCH Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Dr. Sahib Gul while commenting over the delay in early release of the amount said that they had devised plans to improve indicators including maternal mortality ratio, infant and neonatal now that the project has been extended to 2018 the overall activities have suffered greatly. He categorically mentioned that the MNCH program had been negatively affected due to some steps taken by central government, for instance, the appointment of 24 social mobilizers against merit.
He also shared that indicators need to be improved on priority basis since outcomes of the project have not been as anticipated due to certain setbacks. He eulogized the role of KP government for allocating Rs 300 million for MNCH so that mothers and neonate could get their required facilities at health centers.
As per statistics provided by a welfare organization, 206 of every 100, 000 mothers pass away due to pregnancy related complications while the infant mortality rate is also very high in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. As many as 58 newborns of every 1000 live births die in the province and infant mortality rate is at its peak. Similarly, the under-five mortality (U5MR) rate is 70 per 1,000 births.
KP was unable to achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDG) for IMR, MMR and U5MR in 2015, he stated. It also shows that there are around 3, 000 family planning centers in Pakistan which is stated as an insufficient number to guide such a large population.



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