Health budget being misused in Sindh: PEC

KARACHI: The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Tuesday said health budget is being misused in Sindh, which has resulted in increased child mortality.

The Infant Mortality Rate has increased from 74 per 1000 live births in 2012 to 82 per 1000 live births in 2014, which is alarming, it said in a statement issued from Islamabad. Mortality in children under five years of age has increased from 92 per 1000 live births to 104, which speak of the dismal healthcare situation in the province where rural areas are among the worst hit, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

Talking to a delegation of developmental specialists headed by Nasir Wajahat, he said that 200 children die in Sindh every day before reaching their first birthday, while 60% of the above die before completing the first month after their birth.

He said that 230 children die in Sindh every day before reaching their fifth birthday while situation in Punjab and other provinces is comparatively better than Sindh. The child mortality is on increasing trend in Sindh unlike other provinces where it is decreasing and the highest numbers of child mortality comes from Larkana and Sukkur Divisions.

Dr Mughal said that the nutritional deficiencies in children have increased or remained same through the last four years while the growth rate of population has increased from 3.9 to 4. He said that the number of skilled birth attendants is below the Pakistan average meaning less than other provinces, except Balochistan while only 35% of children are fully immunized. Deteriorating indicators of health, education, and population must be taken seriously, he concluded.