Out of the 640 children under the age of five that died in 2018 in Chin State, Kanpetlet township recorded the highest numbers of child fatality cases. Fifty-five children died in the southern township last year.
“Even though the number of child fatalities in Kanpetlet is less than in other areas based on its small population proportionally it’s very high.” said Doc Sharon Par.
Child fatality refers to a death of a child under five caused by illness. In Chin State, many child fatalities are caused by respiratory illnesses.
“The main illnesses that caused child fatality (in 2018) was pneumonia. Other causes included being born underweight,” Dr Sharon Par said.
The public healthcare department recorded 12,998 children births in 2018. Out of 1,000 children born last year there were 30 cases of child fatality.
The biggest challenge for healthcare in Chin State is transportation. With sixty-per cent of child fatality cases in 2018 the child died in his or her home.
Many people live in remote locations where roadways are poorly maintained and sometimes inaccessible for part of the year.
“Patients can’t arrive at the clinic or hospital on time (to save their life). Others die on the way for treatment. If a patient has pneumonia they can be cured. If they receive medical treatment before the illness progresses they won’t die. More awareness about health and healthcare services in Chin State is needed. If a child gets sick their parents should take them to a hospital or clinic (for a checkup),” Dr Sharon Par said.
The Chin State government is drafting a plan to focus on maternal and child healthcare during 2019 to 2020 fiscal year.
In 2018, in Hakha, 40 children died from child mortality; in Thangtlang, 46; in Falam,38; in Tedim,114; in Tongzan, 44; in Mindat, 78; in Kanpetlet, 55, in Paletwa, 143 and 82 in Matupi township.
In 2017, there were 320 cases of child fatality.